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Sonoma county lies twenty-Gve miles north of San Francisco a little west 
of a due north line. It is bounded on the south by the bay of San 1< ranc.sco 
and Marin county, the latter county a peninsula lying between the bay and 
I ocean; on the west by the Pacific ocean; on the north ^ Mendo mo 
county, and on the east by Lake and Napa counties. Its sea^oast front, allow- 
ing tlf; sinuosities of the shore Une. is about sixty miles. ts --age >engtl, 
from north to south, is about fifty miles, and its average --l^h-abou twenty^ 
five miles. Its area is, in numbers, eigbt hundred and fifty thousand 
acres The district of Sonoma originally included all the vast territory lying 
betw;en the Sacramento river and the Pacific ocean. At the first session of 
tl legislature the northern line was fixed along the fortieth parallel of la ^ 
tude to the summit of the Mayacmas range of mountains, and thence south to 
the bay, including all the present county of Mendocino, and a portion of Napa 
county In 1856, Napa county having been previously formed, the limits ot 
Sono^Ja were contracted to the present boundary lines by the segregation of 

''rglarer:^' map of the State herewith published, will show the great 
advantages of the location of the county of Sonoma. It ^-nts on the bay 
of San Francisco, known in its northern extremity as the bay of San Pablo 
once called the bay of Sonoma. Two estuaries lead from the bay inland into 
the countv of Sonoma, navigable at high tide for steamers and sail-vessels of 
considerable size. The latter, with a fair wind and tide, convey tl^e Produce 
of the county, at the current freight-rates, in a few hours to the wharves in 
San Francisco. In addition, there are a number of shipping points along the 
coast, of which more will be said hereafter. ..u i ^ 

Sonoma county is not so fully known as portions of this State with less ad- 
vantages of climate, soil, and productions; because it is off the grea central 
line of travel, which follows the Sacramento Valley to tide-water, thence to 
San Francisco, and turns southward. It has been hidden, as it were, behind 
the Coast Range of mountains, which separates it from the great Sacramento 
Valley From San Francisco, through the Sacramento Valley, you pass along 
the east foothills of the Coast Range ; from the same place to Sonoma county 
you pass along the west face of the same range. The trend of the <.,ast is 
northwesterly, and the county of Sonoma lies al.uost entirely west of the city 
of San Francisco. Lying west of the greater part of the State may account 
for the fact that about one-third more rainfalls here than in San Francisco, 
and fully one-half more than in the counties south and east of the bay of han 
Francisco. There has never been a season in the history of the county when 
there was not enough rain to make a crop. There have been years ot drouth 
in other parts of the State ; but in this section in those seasons the crops were 

better than an average. 

3 • 



The main Coast Ivange, of which Monte I)iablo is a well known and con- 
apiciious peak, continues northwesterly from ( 'arquinez straits, and forms the 
water-shed between tlie Sacramento valley and the coast country. This range 
passes through Napa county, which bounds Sonoma on the east, and into and 
through the northeast corner of Sonoma county, reaching an elevation above 
the sea level of three thousand six hundred feet. The highest mountain in the 
county is Geyser peak, so called from its {)roximity to the CJeyser springs. This 
peak is three thousand four hundred and seventy feet above the sea level. It is 
a jtrominent landmark, visible from nearly all j>arts of the county. TheCiey- 
ser springs, a well-known California wonder, and a number of valuable quick- 
silver mines, are located in this part of the county. From Geyser peak almost 
all of the county of Sonoma may be seen, and the Pacific ocean, beyond the 
fair land on which it borders. 

A number of valleys extend southwesterly from the main chain of the 
C!oast Range, described above, which widen gradually, and front on the north- 
ern shore of the bay of San Pablo. These valleys are separated from each 
other by spurs from the Main Range, running parallel with the valleys. First, 
on the east, we have the valley of Napa, which bounds Sonoma county on that 
side ; then west of, and nearly parallel with it, Sonoma valley, from which the 
county takes its name ; it forms, however, a very small portion of the cpunty 
of Sonoma. West of Sonoma valley, and separated from it by a high range of 
hills, is the largest, most fertile, and most populous of all the valleys west of 
the great Sacramento plain. It fronts on the north shore of San Pablo bay, 
and extends from the bay shore inland for about sixty miles, and has an aver- 
age width of ten to twelve miles. The lower or most southerly section of this 
great valley is called Petalnma — the central portion is called Santa J\osa, and 
the most northerly portion is called Russian River valley. The three may be 
.said to form one great valley, through which the San Francisco and North Pa- 
cific Railroad runs, from its terminus on tide-water, for .sixty miles, without a 
cut more than ten feet deep on the entire line. 

The four great valleys which we have just mentioned are the chief topo- 
graphical features of Sonoma county. The hills separating Sonoma valley 
from the great Central valley, terminate at Santa Rosa. About twenty-live 
miles from its bay-shore, Sonoma valley, having gradually narrowed, merges 
into the great Central valley. West of the Central valley lies the immediate 
coast country. The southern section of the coast country lying just north of 
Marin county is celebrated for its dairy products. The hills are rolling, des- 
titute entirely of trees or brush, and covered with a rich sward of gras.s, kept 
green most of the year by its proximity to the ocean. This dairy-section ex- 
tends nearly to Kussian river; along that river and north of it to the county 
line, the country is densely timbered. 


In addition to the principal valleys we have described, there are others 
equally beautiful and fertile, and, though smaller, are well worthy of a descrip- 
tion more in detail than the space at our command will permit. Alexander 


valley, east of Healdsburg, is one of the most fertile and beautiful of the valleys 
of Sonoma county. It borders on the great bend made by Russian river before 
turning toward the sea. The land on tlie river, like all its bottom-land, is of 
unsurpassed fertility. The valley is settled by an intelligent and cultivated 
class of farmers, and takes its name from the first settler, Cyrus Alexander, 
who, in 1845, was superintendent of the Sotoyomi grant, and acquired title to 
the valley which now bears his name — once a portion of the grant. This val- 
ley is a part of the great Russian Jiiver valley, an arm of it extending to the 

Knight's valley lies on the extreme pastern boundary of Sonoma county, at 
the foot of St. Helena mountain, one of the tallest and most beautiful peaks of 
the Mayacmas range. The valley includes about thirteen thousand acres, and 
was covered by a Spanish grant. It is now partly owned by a company, who 
keep a place of summer resort, and partly by Calvin Holmes, one of our oldest 
and most respected citizens. The scenery in Knight's valley embraces all the 
features characteristic of the county — groves of oaks in picturesque irregular- 
ity on the plain and in the foot-hills, walks and drives of natural beauty, far 
excelling anything that could be achieved by artificial means, no matter how 
lavishly money might be expended. One of the main roads leading to the 
Cieyser springs passes through this valley. It was built by the celebrated 
Clark Foss, and hi.s stages still run on the road. He has made his home in 
the valley, in which every comfort has been provided for himself and guests, 
that good ta.ste and a liberal expenditure of money can command. No one 
should leave this coast without making a trip to the Geysers with, which 
includes a stop at his elegant caravansary. , 

Dry Creek valley lies west of Russian River and north of Healdsburg. Its 
location may be seen on the map. The valley is about sixteen miles long, with 
an average width of two miles. The soil is all alluvial bottom, and is of 
matchless fertility — for wheat, corn, and staple products it ia not equaled on 
the coast: and the hill-land on the border of the valley i)ro(luces ail kinds of 
fruit, being especially adapted to grape culture. The fine fruit farm of D. D. 
Phillips is situated in the centre of the valley. 

Bennett valley, another of the smaller valleys of Sonoma, worthy of men- 
tion, lies south of the town of Santa Rosa, and east of the Santa Rosa valley. 
It has a length of eight miles, and an average width of four miles. It pos- 
sesses all the features peculiar to the other parts of the county we have descri- 
bed. If it has any specialty it is for fruit and grape culture. The fine farm 
of .James Adams, in Santa Rosa township, lies just in the mouth of Rennett 
valley, and also the beautiful home of Nelson Carr, who lives at the head of the 
valley. Near the centre is the celebrated vineyard of Isaac DeTurk, where 
he has lived for many years, and been extensively engaged in the manufacture 
of wine. 

The Cuillicos valley ia in fact the upper part of Sonoma valley proper. It 
ia one of the most beautiful places in California. It was originally granted to 
the wife of Don Juan Wilson, a famous aea-captain on this coast under the 
Mexican regime. He married into one of the native California families, and 
though an Englishman by birth, he became a Mexican citizen, and waa granted 


theGuillicofl valley. In ISoO it was purchased by William Hood, wlio subdi- 
vided and sold the greater part about ten years ago. He, however, retains his 
beautiful homestead at the foot of the CJuillicos mountain, one of the most 
l)ictures(jue as well as one of the most valuable farms in California. 

(Jreen valley lies west of the Santa Rosa plains, on frreen Valley creek, 
which flows north and empties into Russian river. The valley is twelve miles 
long, with an average widtli of three miles. The specially of this valley is 
fruit culture — apples, pears, plums, i)runes, peaches, cherries, table and raisin 
grapes. The very finest orchards of this coimty are in Green valley. The 
soil is adapted to the growth of all the staple crops, as well as fruit. 

The valley of the Kstero Americano, or Big valley, lies along a small 
stream Aviling into an estuary leading inland from the sea about seven miles, 
known as the Eslero Americano. The towns of Bloomfield and ^'aIIey Ford 
are in this valley, and the narrow-gauge railroad crosses it. One hundred 
thousand sacks of potatoes are raised annually in the valley, and in the country 
north and south ol' it there are at least eight thousand milch-cows, producing 
during the .season, per day, an average of a pound of butter each. The chief 
products are potatoes, butter, and cheese; but oats, wheat, and barley are also 

There are a number of smaller valleys, wliich space permits no more than 
mention: the Rincon valley, near Santa Rosa; Rural and Alpine valleys, on 
Mark West creek, and Biucher valley, west of the Santa Rosa plain. 

To recapitulate : I'rom the summit of (Jeyser peak we obtain a bird's-eye 
view of the whole country. At a glance we take in the great Central valley, 
through which the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad runs, from 
the bay shore to its terminus at Cloverdale. We can see the towns along the 
line of the road : Cloverdale, (ieyserville, Healdsburg, Windsor, Fulton, Santa 
Rosa and I'etaluma. Tlie groves of oaks give to the landscape that park-like 
appearance peculiar to Calilbrnia scenery. It is a view upon which one might 
love to linger. A little east of south, Sonoma valley may be seen — and at the 
foot of St. Helena, a towering feature in this grand landscape, lies Knight's 
valley. The windings of Russian river, in its tortuous course througii Alexan- 
der valley and across the plain, may be traced until it disappears in the timber 
region, over which the gilded waters of the Pacific may be seen, until sea and 
sky blend in the distance. 


Each of the valleys fronting on San Pablo bay have an estuary leading in- 
land, navigable for steamers of considerable size. One, called Sonoma creek 
or estuary leatls into Sonoma valley ; another known as Petaluma creek is navi- 
gable for eighteen miles inland. The nourishing town of Petaluma is situated 
on this slough at the head of navigation. 

Russian river, the largest stream in the county, enters it on the north, and 
flows in a southeasterly direction through the county for about thirty miles, 
and then turns at a sharp angle to the west, and empties into the Pacific ocean. 
It is not navigable. 


Sulphur creek, on which the Geyser springs are located, rises in the Mayac- 
mas mountains, and flows northerly into Russian river above the town of Clt- 

Mark West creek rises in a lofty spur of the Mayacmas range between Napa 
and Sonoma valleys, flowing west across the plains into Russian river, Santa 
Rosa creek rises in the same mountain, and flows across the Santa Rosa valley, 
parallel with and four miles south of Mark West creek, and empties into a 
series of lakes, which, in high water, overflow into Russian river. Sonoma 
creek rises in the same range, and flows southerly through Sonoma valley into 
San Pablo bay. 

The Valhalla, awkwardly spelled Gualcda, is a stream on the western border 
of the county, flowing due north, and parallel with the coast, just inside a range 
of hills which rise up from the shore of the ocean. After a straight north 
course for almost twenty-five miles, it turns and empties into the ocean. There 
was never a stream so well named ; great red-wood trees shade its limpid 
waters, the favorite haunt of the salmon and the trout ; the hills are full of 
game, deer, elk and bear — and if ever there was a place where the " bear roasted 
every morning became whole at night," it was true, figuratively speaking, of 
our Sonoma Valhalla, — for the camp on its margin was never without its 
haunch of venison or creel of trout. May the fellow who tortured the name 
by trying to Peruvianize it, never taste the joys of the real Valhalla. 

The course of these streams can be marked by referring to the map. We 
will say, in passing, that the land along the water courses described, and for 
some distance from them, is a rich alluvial of unsurpassed fertility. 


Sonoma county being, as we said elsewhere, oflT the great line of travel, some 
special reference to its means of access may not be out of place. The San 
Francisco and North Pacific Railroad runs through the great Central valley, 
starting from Cloverdale, its northern terminus, passing the principal towns, 
and terminating at a point on Petaluma creek, where it connects with a fast 
steamer for San Francisco. 

The whole time occupied from the northern limit of Sonoma to San Fran- 
cisco is about four hours. An extension of the road is now building through 
Marin county to a point on the bay not more than six miles from San Fran- 
cisco, which will shorten the time of travel nearly one-half, to about two hours 
from Santa Rosa, and one hour and a half from Petaluma. Another railroad 
enters the western section of the county from Marin, the San Francisco and 
North Pacific Coast Railroad. This a narrow-gauge road running into the 
coast lumber region, to which we have referred. Daily trips are made by this 
route to and from San Francisco. A steamer runs direct from San Francisco 
to Sonoma valley, where it connects with a prismoidal or one-rail railway for 
the town of Sonoma. In addition to the facilities of travel given, there are a 
number of small sailing vessels which ply back and forth between San Fran- 
cisco and Petaluma. 



Sonoma is an Indian word which means "Valley of the Moon," and was 
the name originally given to the beautiful valley from which the county was 
afterwards called. The tribe of Indians inhabiting the vallev were called the 
Chocuyens. On the arrival of the first expedition to establish a mission, the 
name Sonoma was given to the chief by Jose Altimira, the priest in charge, 
and after that the chief, the tribe and the valley they inhabited took the name 

In 1775 Lieutenant Juan Francisco de la Hodega y Quadra, a distinguished 
navigator of the Spanish navy, in a vessel called the Sonora, entered and ex- 
plored Bodega bay on his return from a voyage to the northeast coast- The 
port thenceforth look the name Bodega, from its discoverer, lie was the first 
of the old navigators, as far as the record shows, who touched on the coast of 
what is now Sonoma county, — though Sir Francis Drake landed, in 1579, just 
below it ; and, in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo had discovered Cape Mendo- 
cino, and had named it in honor of the "illustrious Senor Antonio de Men- 
doza," the viceroy under whose patronage the v(jyage had been undertaken. 

From this it will be seen that Cape Mendocino was baptized, and the coast 
of Sonoma was seen, by lOuropean navigators, sixty years before there was any 
settlement by the English on the eastern side of the continent of America. 
After its discovery, however, the coimtry lay for two hundred and thirty-five 
years in the undisputed possession of the aborigines. There was no attempt 
made to occupy it. 

Father Begart, a Jesuit, who lived many years in Lower California, is au- 
thority for the statement that no white man ever lived in California before 
17C!), just one hundred and seven years ago. 

The first expedition made inland into Sonoma was the year after the dis- 
covery of Bodega, for the purpose of finding out if there was not a connection 
between the waters of San Francisco and Bodega bays. It must have been 
supposed by the missionaries who had but recently occupied San Francisco 
that the peninsula now included in the boundaries of Marin county, was an 
island. Captain Quiros made a boat voyage up I'etaluma creek, and proved 
there was no such connection as had been suppo.sed. 

The port of Bodega was occupied for a short time, in 1793, by a Spanish gar- 
rison and four guns, which were soon removed, however, to Monterey, there 
being no indication of the threatened English occupation which had caused 
the alarm. 

We now come to the first permanent settlement of Europeans north of the 
bay of San Francisco. In January, 1811, Alexander KuskofiJ in a Russian 
ship from Alaska, occupied Bodega bay, under the pretext that he had been 
refused the j)rivilege of getting a supply of water in San Francisco. He claimed 
that he had purchased a small tract of land on the bay from the natives. To 
the bay of Bodega ihey gave the name of " RomanzoH," and called Russian 
river the "Slavianka." Kuskoll) the commander of the Russians, had a 
wooden leg, and was called by the Caiifornians, " Pie de Palo." General Val- 
lejo says, as the Russians " came without invitation, and occupied land without 
permission, they may be called the first 'squatters' of California." 


So soon as the permanent settlement was known to the authorities of Cali- 
fornia, news of the event was forwarded to the seat of the supreme government 
at Madrid. It may well be imagined that a long time was occujiied in sending 
this news and receiving a rejjly from the viceroy, which was an order com- 
manding the Russians to depart. The reply of the Northmen to this commu- 
nication was that the viceroy's orders had been forwarded to St. Petersburg for 
the Emperor's action. 

Four years later, in 181G, we find the Russian and Spanish authorities deba- 
ting the question of occupation, on board a Russian vessel in the waters of 8an 
Francisco. Nothing came of the conference. The Russians continued to trap 
for furs all along the coast, and in all the interior streams of Northern California. 
They removed their settlement higher up the coast, and built a stockade fort 
called Ross; which was singularly well adapted for defence, — it was, in fact 
impregnable against any force which the Spanish government could send 
against it. 

The fort was a quadrilateral stockade. It contained houses for the director 
and officers, an arsenal, a barrack for the men, store-houses, and a Greek chapel 
surmounted with a cross, and provided with a chime of bells. The stockade 
was about ten feet high, pierced with embrasures, furnished with carronades • 
at opposite corners were two bastions, two stories high, and furnished with six 
pieces of artillery. The gardens were extensive, and the work-shops were sup- 
plied with all the tools necessary for working in wood and iron. The orchard 
was large, and some of the trees, now over fifty years old, are still livino-, and 
bear fruit. The church above described was the first, not only in Sonoma but 
the first north of the bay of San Francisco ; so, among other things to the credit 
of Sonoma county, must be set down the fact that slie can boast of the first 
church north of San Francisco in what is now the State of California. 

It is almost certain that the Russians did contemplate a permanent occupa- 
tion and possession of the country north of the bay of San Francisco, as they 
were greatly in need of a grain-producing country to supply their fur hunters 
on the bleak and sterile coast of Alaska. The promulgation of the doctrine 
by President Monroe, in 1823, that the American continents were henceforth 
not to be considered as subjects for foreign colonization by any European 
power, was a damper on Russian aspirations in California. 

Nothing came of the conference in San Francisco, and the Russians remained 
continued to trap, and made annual shipments to Sitka of grain raised in and 
around the fort, and at Bodega, where the town of Bodega now stands. 

It will be seen from this that Sonoma was also the first wheat-exporting 
county on the coast of California. 

An extract from the journal of Captain John Hall, who visited this coast 
and Bodega in 1822, will show the products of the fat pastures of Sonoma even 
at that early day. Captain Hall entered the port of Bodega on the 8th of .June 
and was visited by the Russian governor, who came from Ross. lie brought 
with him, " says Captain Hall," two tine fat sheep, a large tub of butter, and 
some milk, which was very acceptable after a long voyage, and gave us proof 
at once of the governor's hospitality, and of the abundance and cheapness of 


provisions. The price of a bullock at that time was twelve dollars, and of a 
sheep two dollars; vegetables were also plentiful, and in their proper season. 

The ''dominion of Spain over the Californias" terminated in 1822, after 
fifty years of peaceful prosperity for the country. Mexico having established 
her independence in that year, California gave in her adherence, and declared 
the northern possessions henceforth dependent alone on the government of 
Mexico. The Federal constitution of 1824 was afterwards adopted, and Cali- 
fornia was governed by a political chief, aided by a council known as the 
territorial deputation. 

Prior to this change in the government the authorities had commenced to 
fence against the Russians, who, it was feared, intended to get a foot-hold on 
the bay of San Francisco, coming south from I'.odega. The mission of San 
Rafael had been established. In June and .July, 1823, Jose Altimira came 
with a military escort from San Francisco to select a proper site for a new mis- 
sion, to which it was proposed to transfer the mission of San Francisca de Assis. 
Padre Altimira left San Rafael on the 25th June, and passed, the following day, 
the point called by the Indians, Chocuali, where Petaluma now stands, and 
encamped near the old adobe house on the Petaluma plain. The following day 
they came to the valley of Sonoma. The description of the pioneer, Padre 
Altimira, is so graphic that it will bear quoting in full. "About 3 p.m., June 
28th, 1823," says the Father, " leaving our camp and our boat in the slough 
near by, we started to explore, directing our course northwestward across the 
plain of Sonoma, until wc reached a stream (Sonoma river) of about five hun- 
dred plumas of water, crystaline, and most pleasant to the taste, flowing through 
a grove of beautiful and useful trees. The stream Hows from hills which enclose 
the plain, and terminate it on the north. We went on penetrating a broad 
grove of oaks, the trees were lofty and robust, promising utility in the future- 
for fuel and building purposes. This grove was three leagues from east to 
west, and a league and a-lialf from north to south. No one can doubt the 
salubrity of the climate after noting the plains, the lofty shade-trees, alder,, 
jioplar, and laurel, and especially the abundance and luxuriance of the wild 
grapes. We also observed that a launch may come up the coast to where a 
settlement can be formed, truly a most convenient circumstance. We see from 
these, and other facts, that Sonoma is a most desirable site for a mission." The 
explorations were continued in various directions until it was decided that the 
present site of the old town and mission .of Sonoma was the best place for set- 
tlement. So, on the fourth day of July, 1823, Father Altimira planted a cross 
near the spot where the Catholic church now stands, and the second settlement, 
(the first having been made at Ross,) was founded within the present limits 
of Sonoma county. 

The mission buildings were commenced that year. Altimira writes to Gov- 
ernor Arguello at San Francisco, that he cut one hundred redwood beams for 
a granary in four days, and that he was highly pleased with the site, and alleged 
that it afforded more inducements than any other place between it and San 

The mission was destroyed in 1826, by the Indians. Padre Altimira escaped 
with his life, and soon after left the country. In 1827 the mission was revived, 


rebuilt, and flourished until the decree of secularization, (promulgated by the 
Mexican government in 1833, and enforced in 1834), led to the overthrow of 
the authority of the fathers, the liberation, and dispersion of the Indians, and 
to the final partition of the mission lands and cattle; in short to a complete 
revolution in the ecclesiastical government of California. Whatever may 
have been the effect on the Mexican population, the result to the Indians was 

It is stated that some of the missions, which in 1834 had as many as one 
thousand five hundred souls, numbered only a few hundred in 1842. The two 
missions of San Rafael and Sonoma decreased in this time, the former from 
one thousand two hundred and forty souls, to twenty ; and the latter from one 
thousand three hundred, to seventy. On the other hand, those who most 
favored the secularization scheme, contend that in this section at least the 
decrease of the Indians was caused by the small-pox, which broke out among 
them in a virulent form in the year 1837 — contracted from a subordinate Mexi- 
can officer, who caught the disease at Ross. The officer recovered, while sixty 
thousand Indians are said to have perished from this scourge, in the territory 
now included in the counties of Sonoma, Napa and Solano. 

In 1834, Governor Figueroa visited Sonoma, for the purpose of establishing 
a presidio, which was to be named Santa Anna y Farias. The site selected was 
on Mark West creek, on the land now owned by Henry Mizer, near to a well- 
known red-wood tree, which is still standing. The future city was to be called 
after the then President of Mexico, Santa Anna, and the Vice-President Farias. 
That the city did not survive the infliction of such a name, is not surprisino'. 
It was killed in its baptism. This town was intended to be colonized by a 
company of Mexicans, known as the Cosmopolitan company, who came to 
California under the command of one Hijas. The leaders of the scheme disa- 
greed with the head of the government here, and though they arrived in 
Sonoma, the whole party were returned to San Francisco. The town on Mark 
West was abandoned, and the same year General Vallejo laid out the town of 
Sonoma as it now exists, and established his headquarters as the military 
commandant of California. General Vallejo took command in 1835 and was 
ordered to extend the settlements in the direction of Ross. For this purpose 
he sent three men, Mcintosh, James Black, and .James Dawson, in that direc- 
tion, and they settled on what was afterwards the OFarrel tract near the 
present site of the town of Freestone. The three men built a house there and 
agreed, as we liave heard the story told, to get a grant of land. One of the 
party went to Monterey for that purpose, either Black or Mcintosh, and pro- 
cured the grant in the name of the two, leaving out the name of Dawson. 
Dawson was so incensed that he sawed off one-third of the frame house and 
moved it over the line of the grant which his companions had secured and 
applied for a grant in his own name adjoining them, which grant was after- 
wards confirmed. Black and Mcintosh continued to reside for some time on 
the Jonive grant, and built a kind of mill there, the remains of which may 
still be seen near the residence of the late Hon. Jasper O'Farrel. 

The Russians were then occupying the tract afterwards known as the Bodeo-a 
ranch, but six miles from the new comers, and disputes soon arose, as it was 


intended tliey should. The colonists, ever ready for a quarrel, and the Russians, 
who were making up tlreir minds to leave, gradually contracted their lines 
toward Ross. They found the Anglo-Saxon, like all the race, stout in the 
maintenance of the right they had acquired to the soil. Matters grew worse, 
and iinally, in 1.S39, the Russians made arrangements to abandon the country. 
In 1840 they diapose<l of their rights at Ross, including houses, stock and fix- 
tures, and eml)arked from San Francisco for Sitka — in all, men, women and 
children, about four hundred souls. 

Some time during his administration, Rotschefl) the last commander at Ross, 
with a party of Russians, crossed over to the highest peak of the Mayacmaa 
range, which looms up grand and beautiful from the high hills back of Ross; 
on the summit of which he fixed a plate inscribed in his own language, and 
gave the mountain the name it now bears, St. Helena, in honor of his wife the 
Princes.s de Gagarin, said to have lieen a woman of rare attractions, both mental 
and physical. Unt the Russians, who for thirty years had been a thorn in the 
side of the Californian authorities had departed, and with them all fear from 
that quarter. 

The Russians were hardly out of sight before the rulers of the colony found 
themselves face to face with a more formidable invader than those who had 
just sailed quietly away. Between 1840 and 1S45, a number of Americans had 
scaled the Sierra, and, with their families, their wagons, teams and cattle, were 
settling in the valleys of California. Many of these emigrants had started for 
Oregon, and were turned hitherward from I'^ort I hill; attracted by the reports 
which reached them of the salubrity of the clin)ate, and rare fertility of the 
soil. No dream of gold then in the hills of California. But the old trappers, 
many of whom had cros.sed the mountains, reported it a fair and goodly land. 

Capt. Stephen Smith next obtained a grant of land at Bodega, which had 
formerly been farmed by Russians. lie purchased the buildings on the land 
from Capt. Sutter, who claimed them under his Russian purchase. In 184G, he 
arrived at the i)ort of Bodega, bringing with him a steam engine, the first ever 
seen in California, and with it he run a steam saw mill. When all was ready 
he sent out invitations to the rancheros and grandees to come and see it starts 
Among others. Gen. Vallejo, then military commandant of California, was 
present, and says he remembers having predicted on the occasion that before 
many years there would be more steam engines than soldiers in California. 
While the native Californians, the lords of the soil, are enjoying the hospitality 
of Capt. Smith, and admiring the novelty of the steam engine, we will take 
the opportunity to tell our readers by what tenure and in what quantity they 
held their landed estates. 

There were twenty-three land grants confirmed to original owners in Sonoma 
county. The largest was the Petaluma grant, which included all the land be- 
tween Sonoma creek on the east, the bay of San Pablo on the south, and 
Petaluma creek on the west. It embraced within its far-reaching boundaries 
at least seventy-five thousand acres of the finest and most fertile land in the 
State; every acre of it was arable, and a fence of twelve miles along the north 
line from Sonoma to Petaluma creek, would have enclo.sed the whole. This 
tract of land is now assessed for not less than three millions of dollars. 


The foreigners to whom land was granted in this section were Jacob P. 
Leese, John Fitch, Juan P. Cooper, John Wilson and Mark West. The three 
former were brothers-in-law of General Vallejo. The site of the present town 
of Santa Eosa was granted to Mrs. C'arrillo, the mother of Julio Carrillo, and 
the country between Santa Eosa and Sebastopol, to Joaquin Carrillo, a brother 
of Mrs. Vallejo. Captain Stephen Smith was granted the Bodega ranch, 
which included thirty-five thousand four hundred and eighty-seven acres. 
Captain Smith was a remarkable man ; he came to California from Chili, and 
was a fine type of the pioneer, honest, hospitable and generous to a fault. 
Juan B. Cooper was another old sea-captain ; he owned the rancho " El Molino," 
translated the mUl-ranch. He had just gotten up his mill when a tremendous 
freshet came in 1840-41, and washed it all away. The Eoss ranch was granted 
to Manuel Torres. The German ranch on the coast above Eoss was granted to 
a number of Germans, and they gave to the stream which flowed through their 
land the appropriate name of Valhalla. 

Jasper O'Farrel exchanged a ranch in Marin county for the Canada de 
•Jonive, and purchased of .James Mcintosh the Estero Americano. The reader 
will remember that Black, Mcintosh and Dawson were the very first English- 
speaking settlers in Sonoma county. The home of Jasper O'Farrel, in Bodega, 
in the early history of Sonoma county, was the seat of princely hospitality. 
From far and near it was made a stopping place, and we have been told by 
old settlers, that a beef was killed every day and consumed at his generous 
board. He possessed the genius, the wit and the liberality which distinguish 
his race. He was afterwards a member of the State senate, in which he ably 
represented Sonoma county. 

Mark West was a sailor, and a different type of man from those above 
described. His grant included six thousand six hundred and sixty-three acres 
between Mark West and Santa Eosa creeks, and was the richest body of land 
of the same number of acres in the Slate. There was not an acre of it that 
would not produce from seventy-five to one hundred bushels of wheat. He 
lies buried on a stony point near the residence of H. C. Mizer, and none of 
his descendants own a foot of his splendid estate, which is to-day worth 
over half a million of dollars. 

The total number of acres included in all the grants in the county was four 
hundred thousand one hundred and forty-three, just less than one half its whole 
area as now bounded, which is estimated at eight hundred and fifty thousand 
acres. All of the valleys we have elsewhere described were covered by 
grants without an exception. The public land all lay in the low hills on the 
border of the valleys, and in the mountains. Fortunately for the future wel- 
fare of the county, these grants were sub-divided and sold in small tracts at a 
very early day. The titles to most of them were settled without much dispute 
or delay ; and the sub-divided lands were purchased by industrious and enter- 
prising farmers, who have since lived upon and improved them. They have 
converted the long-horned worthless Spanish cattle into the short horn, and 
the mustang horse into the thorough-bred, and the pastures of this worth le.'^s 
stock into homes of beauty and teeming abundance. With one exception all 
the grants have been sold in small tracts, and that is the Cotate rJ^nch, on the 


plain between Petaliima and Santa Rosa. Tliia tract belongs to an estate, and 
under the will cannot be divided until the youngest child coine« of age. This 
is the largest farm in the county, the railroad passing througli it for six miles. 
The dairy is supplied with the milk from two hundred and fifty cows; there 
are five hundred head of cattle on the place, and ten thousand head of sheep ; 
each cow averages daily one pound and a quarter of butter during the season, 
and the .sheep shear an average of six pounds of wool each. 

We brought the early history of the county up to about 1845, when the twenty- 
three grants we have just described were held by their original owners, who 
kept herds of cattle and horses upon Ihem, and cultivated enough corn, beans 
and peas?, to supjily the Spanish population, a light tax indeed upon the most 
fertile of (he rich agricultural valleys of California. In the early part of 
1846, it was estimated that there were at least two thousand foreigners of all 
ages and sexes, scattered over the territory of California. 

They were mainly in the Sacramento, Santa Clara and Napa valleys; 
a few had drifted into Sonoma, among them Cyrus Alexander, for whom 
Alexander valley is named,— and Mose Carson, a brother of Lindsay Carson, 
of Lake county, — and Frank Bedwell, the genial and sturdy old pioneer, 
who has resided in Sonoma ever since he purchased his place of Mr. Alex- 
ander, which was in 1845. The venerable Joel Walker, now a resident of the 
county, assisted in tiriving the cattle and horses from Koss to Sutter's ranch, 
in the Sacramento valley. Tiiere are a number of anti-terrilorial pioneers in 
the county, who did not reside here at the time of which we write, among them 
Major Snyder, of Sonoma, the Marshals, James Gregson and the McChrist- 
ians, of (ireen valley, and doubtless others whose names and date of arrival we 
do not know. Of those here, some came by sea and some by land, none 
dreamed that they were the forerunners of a great tide which would gather * 
from all climes, and that their footfall on the unaccustomed path was but "the 
first low plash of waves, where soon would roil a human sea." 

But we anticipate. Events in California in the early part of 1846 were rap- 
idly approaching a crisis. The United State.-? and Mexico were at war. An 
American fleet was on the coast ; Fremont, with a small command of regular 
soldiers, was hovering on the boundaries of California, ostensibly on a topo- 
graphical survey; I'.ngland and France, through their representatives, were 
watching with eager interest the turn of aflkirs, and were anxious and willing 
to assume a protectorate, or to take forcible possession of the country. The 
native Californians were comparatively few in numbers, were .scattered over 
a great space, were badly armed, and divitled in council. The crisis was 
approaching, and the town of Sonoma was de.stined to become the theatre of 
the first act in the drama which ended with the acquisition of (he territory of 
California by the United States. 

On the morning of the 16th of June a company of thirty-three .\mericaus 
from Su(ter's fort, Napa, and Sonoma vallies, marched in(o the town of Sonoma 
about daylight, captured the garri.son, and took General Vallejo, the command- 
ing general of (he province of California, a prisoner. They garri.soned (he 
luwn, and a few days after the capture they sent General Vallejo, his brother 
Salvador, Jacob P. Leese and Victor Frudon to Sutter's fort, on the Sacramento 


river. This company of men had elected one of their number, named Merritt, 
captain ; they acted on their own responsibility, and committed no excess. 

They were not authorized to raise the American flag, and determined to 
make a flag on their own account. Three men, — Ben Duell (now of Lake 
county), Todd and Currie, — made the flag. Duell and Currie, as it happened, 
were both saddlers, and did the sewing; Todd painted the stripes and the bear. 
The material of which the stripes were made, was not, as has been stated, an 
old red-flannel petticoat, but was new flannel and white cotton, which Duell 
got from Mrs. W. B. Elliott, who had been brought to the town of Sonoma, — 
her husband, W. B. Elliott, being one of the bear-flag party. Some blue 
domestic was found elsewhere, and used in making the flag ; the drawing was 
rudely done, and, when finished, the bear, — from which the flag and party took 
their name, — resembled a pig as much as the object for which it was intended. 
The idea of the bear was, that having entered into the fight there was to be no 
back-down, or surrender, until the end in view was accomplished. We have 
this account of the making of the bear-flag from Mr. Duell, who was then a 
young man, and whose memory was perfect in the matter of which he spoke. 
A few days after the making of the flag, Cowey and Fowler were sent, or vol- 
unteered to go, to the Fitch ranch to get some powder from Mose Carson. 
They were waylaid and killed, and their bodies mutilated. An Indian gave 
the information ; the boaies were found and buried where they lay, and their 
graves may still be seen on the Catron ranch, next to the county farm, aboiit 
three miles from Santa Rosa. The graves are unmarked, and soon no trace of 
them will be seen, — all but the names of these two daring pioneers will be lost 

A man named Todd, while out looking for Fowler and Cowey, was captured 
by the Californians and taken to an Indian ranch called Olompali, about eight 
miles below Petaluma. They were pursued by a party of twenty-three bear- 
flag men, under command of Granville Swift and Sam Kelsey. A fight ensuled 
at Olompali, in which seventy-three mounted Californians were forced to 
retreat, leaving their prisoner Todd, who was rescued. Frank Bedwell was in 
this fight; a number of the Californians were killed, but none of the Ameri- 
cans. Having recovered Todd, the object of their search, the scouting party 
returned to Sonoma. 

A few days after, Fremont arrived in Sonoma and fitted out an expedition to 
pursue the Californians. He took command and marched to San Rafael, meet- 
ing no resistance ; the enemy had crossed over to the San Francisco side of 
the bay. Arriving at San Rafael, two men, noa-combatants, — the Hanvo 
brothers, — were captured and shot by Fremont's orders. All the old bear-flag 
men, without exception, condemn the killing of these men as cruel and unnec- 
essary ; no resistance whatever having been made to the Americans, and the 
two men killed were on a visit to their parents from another part of the 

The latter days of June and the first days of July, 1846, were destined to 
become eventful in the history of California. While the events described were 
occurring on the frontier, — as the Californians called Sonoma county, — Com- 
modore Sloat was enacting another important part in the work of conquest at 


the capitol of Monterey. lie arrived at that place from Mazatlan, in tlie 
frigate Savannah. Vive days after (on the 7tli) he pent Captain Mervin and 
two hundred and fifty marines and fteanaen on sliore; took posses.sion of and 
raised the American flag on the capitol of Monterey. lie was just in time, for 
the Collingwood, — the flag-ship of Kear-Admiral Sir George Seymour, of 
the Dritisli navy, — was speeding under full sail for the port of Monterey, with 
the purpose of taking possession of it in the name of his government. 

On the 10th of July Captain Montgomery, of the sloop-of-war Portsmouth, 
who had taken possession of the port of San Francisco, dispatched J lieutenant 
Ilevere with a detachment from his ship to Sonoma. Lieutenant Revere 
hauled down the banner of Uie bear, and raised in its stead the American (lag, 
which then first swelled to tlie breeze in Sonoma county. Thisende*! tlie con- 
quest as far as this portion of the State was concerned. Commodore Stockton 
succeeded Sloat, and the further progress of events has no special local interest. 

The town of Sonoma was garrisoned from that time until 1851, — a number 
of officers, since distinguished, having been stationed there. Among them, 
General Hooker, Lieutenant Derby and General Sherman. The first civil 
officer was one John Nash, who was commissioned by General Kearny a.s 
alcalde of Sonoma. Nash had a very exalted idea of the dignity of his oflice ; 
assumed ministerial as well as judicial powers; signed himself " Chief .Justice 
of California," and having been removed by the military governor, he refused 
to recognize the authority and held on to the office. Lieutenant Sherman, — 
now General Sherman, — captured him and took him before Governor Mason, 
at Monterey, who reprimanded and released him. This first civil officer of 
Sonoma, — " Chief Justice Nasli" as he called himself, and " 'Squire Nash" as 
his neighbors called hira, — was a good natured, illiterate but honest man. 
When the rumors of gold reached Sonoma, 'Scjuire Nash was employed by it 
number of persons to go to the mines, take observations anil report. Tliis was 
i» 1848 ; he returned with gold dust to the value of eight hundred and thirty- 
seven dollars. He then went to Mormon Island with a party of Sonoma 
miners, and died there that winter. Ex-Governor lioggs succeeded Nash to 
the oflice of alcalde. The county remained under the control of military gov- 
ernors from its concjuest in IS 1(1 up to the fall of 1849. 

In .Tune, 1849, General Riley, who had succeeded General Mason, issued a 
proclamation for the election of delegates to a general convention to form a 
State constitution, and for filling the offices of judge of the superior court, 
prefects and sub-prefects. These officers were to be voted for, and the suct;es-!- 
ful candidate was to be appointed by General Riley. A first alcahle, or judge 
of the first instance, was also to be elected. The district of Sonoma included 
all the territory between the Sacramento river and the ocean, and Oregon and 
tlie bay of San Francisco. The election was held on the first day of August, 
and that was the first general election in the State. The delegates elected to 
the convention from Sonoma, were (Jeneral Vallejo, .Joel Walker, R. Semple. 
L. W. lioggs was also elected but did not attend. 

In August, General Riley issued appointments to Stephen Cooper as judge 
of first district, and to C. 1'. Wilkins as prefect of the district of Sonoma. The 
convention to form a constitution for the future State of California, met in 


Monterey on the first of September. R. Semple, one of the delegates from the 
Sonoma district, was chosen president. The constitution was framed, was sub- 
mitted to the people, and on the 13th clay of November was ratified by them. 
At the same time Peter D. Burnett was elected the first civil governor. At this 
election the district of Sonoma polled but five hundred and fifty-two votes, of 
which four hundred and twenty-four were for Burnett, and one hundred and 
twenty-eight were for Sherwood. One of the last civil appointments made by 
General Riley before the adoption of the constitution, was that of Richard A. 
Maupin, a well-remembered Sonoma pioneer, to be judge of the superior tribu- 
nal, vice Lewis Dent, who had resigned. Jacob R. Snyder, now a resident of 
this county, was a member of the constitutional convention from Sacramento 

The first legislature met in San .Jose in .January, 1850. General M. G. Val- 
lejo was a member of the senate from Sonoma. J. O. Bradford and J. E. 
Brackett were members of the assembly. General Vallejo's seat was first given 
to Jonas Spect, but on the 22d of December the committee reported that the 
official return from Larkins ranch gave Spect but two votes instead of twenty- 
eight, a total of but one hundred and eighty-one votes against General Vallejo's' 
one hundred and ninety-nine. Mr. Spect then gave up his seat to General Val- 
lejp. At this session of the legislature General Vallejo made his well-known 
report on the derivation and definition of the names of the several counties of 
this State; a report unequaled in its style and in the amount of interesting 
information crowded into its small compass. In that report first appeared the 
explanation of the Indian word Sonoma, signifying "Valley of the Moon." 
The Senator further said, the tribe occupying Sonoma valley was called the 
Chocuyens, but, in 1824, on the arrival of the first expedition to establish a 
mission, the name Sonoma having been given the chief by Father Jose Alti- 
mira, the Chocuyens then adopted the name, which they still retain. This 
tribe was subject to a great chief named Marin de Licatiut, who made his 
headquarters near Petaluma. 

There was not much done at this session further than organizing the State 
and county government. Assemblyman J. E. Brackett was elected major- 
general of the second division of militia, and Robert Hopkins was elected 
district judge. Mr. Hopkins was a lawyer, living in Sonoma, and had been 
appointed, with the Hon. George Pearce, a committee to visit San Jose, the then 
capital, and prevent the establishment of a boundry line which would include 
the valley of Sonoma in the county of Napa. Arriving, they found the ques- 
tion of appointing a district judge for the Sonoma district coming up, and the 
only candidate was W. R. Turner, who had never been in the district, or at 
all events did not reside there. Pearce proposed to Hopkins to run for the 
office. Turner, who up to this time had, as he thought, no opposition, and a 
sure thing, was beaten just as he was stretching his hand for the prize. Hop- 
kins got a unanimous vote, and Turner went for some other district, and was 
appointed. Mr. Pearce who had gone to San Jose for one purpose, very unex- 
pectedly accomplished another, and Mr. Hopkins returned as the district judge 
of Sonoma. 



On the 9th of September of that year, the State was admitted into the Union, 
and the second legislature met at San Jose, January 6, 1851, — Martin E. Cook, 
representing the eleventh senatorial district, composed of the counties of 
Sonoma, Solano, Napa, Marin, Colusa, Yolo and Trinity — in fine, all 
the territory west of the Sacramento river. John S. Bradford and A. 
Stearns represented, in the lower house, the counties of Napa, Sonoma, Marin, 
and Solano. A report of the census agent to the legislature that year 
gave the population of the county of Sonoma at five hundred and sixty- 
one souls. The State government this se.ssion was fully organized, and the 
machinery of the county governments was set to work. 

On the first Wednesday in September, 1851, there was a county election, and 
the local government vested in a court of sessions, presided over by the county 
judge, and two associates chosen from the justices of the peace. A complete 
list of the county judges, associates and supervisors will be found elsewhere. 
The court of sessions assumed control of the afFdirs of the county, and divided 
it into townships, naming Analy township after a sister of the Hon. Jasper 
O'Farrell, a pioneer and large land-owner in that district. 

In November, 1851, the Hon. C. P. Wilkins succeeded H. A. (xreen as 
county judge. Israel Brockman was sheriff, and the late Dr. John Hendley 
was county clerk and recorder. A few people had gathered about the present 
site of the townof Petaluma, which was becoming a shipping point for Bodega 
and Green Valley produce. .James McReynolds built that year for James 
Hudspeth a potato warehouse, which was the first building erected there. 
There were a number of hunters for the San Francisco market in the valley, 
and the place was mainly known for the abundance and excellence of its game. 

In 1852 Sonoma county may be said to have first felt the impulse of th.e 
coming Anglo-Saxon. A number of persons were then in Petaluma. Kent, 
Smith & Coe had a store about opposite the site of the American hotel ; the 
late Tom Baylis had a sloop plying between that point and the city, and also 
built a warehouse and hotel. At Sonoma, the county-seat, the year was .signal- 
ized by the appearance of the Sonoma Bulletin, the first paper published in 
this county, or north of the Sacramento river. It was ably conducted by A. .1. 
Cox, and we can truly say that it was a creditable start for the county in the 
field of journalism. On Monday, .July 5, the first board of supervisors met, 
and took charge of the affairs of the county — the members were D. O. Shat- 
tuck, who was selected chairman ; William A- Hereford, of Santa Rosa dis- 
trict ; Leonard P. Hanson, and .James Singley. The Santa Ro^a ranch, fifteen 
thousand seven hundred and fifty-eight acres, was assessed at one dollar per 
acre. The Fitch grant was assessed at the same rate, and so were the O'Far- 
rell and Mark West grants. T. B. Valentine, who claimed the site of Peta- 
luma, wa-s assessed on six thousand six hundred and sixty-six dollars. At the 
Presidential election that fall, Pierce received four hundred and seventy-five 
votes, and Scott two hundred and sixty-seven, a majority of two hundred and 
eight. E. W. McKinstrey was elected district judge ; J. M. Hudspeth, senator ; 
H. P. Ewing and .James W. McKamy, assemblymen. 

The steamer Georgiana, Captain Hoenshield, ran three times a week between 


San Francisco and Sonoma, and a line of stages left every Saturday for Bodega, 
returning next day — Peter Peterson, proprietor. 

In 1853 the city of Sonoma stood still, if it did not retrograde, and Petaluma 
gained in wealth and population. The great Central valley was filling up, 
and the balance of population, wealth and political power was shifting to the 
west side of Sonoma mountains. Sonoma had reached the high-water mark of 
its prosperity, and the ebb set outward, very slowly, so slowly that those who 
drifted were nol conscious of it, but surely it was going down. At the meeting 
of the board of supervisors in March of this year, Joe Hooker, " fighting .Joe," 
was appointed road-overseer. Washington township was created this year, 
and in the fall the polls were opened at the store of A. C. Godwin, where Gey- 
serville now stands. We noticed that on the 23d of July wheat is quoted at 
four and three-quarter Cents in Sonoma, with a prospect of a rise, a good price 
in a region with a virgin soil, capable at its best of producing eighty bushels 
of grain to the acre. 

This year the Democratic convention met at Santa Rosa, and nominated .Toe 
Hooker and Lindsay Carson for the assembly, and a full county ticket. The 
Settlers' convention met on the 6th of August, and nominated a full county 
ticket, headed by James N. Bennett and .Judge Robert Hopkins for the assem- 
bly. The election came off on Wednesday, September 7 ; Carson was elected 
to the legislature, and there was a tie vote between Bennett and Hooker. The 
question of the removal of the county seat from Sonoma to Santa Rosa entered 
into the first contest quietly, but was not openly discussed; the second race 
between Bennett and Hooker hinged directly on this issue. The election came 
off on the 29th of October, and Bennett, who lived in Bennett valley, and for 
whom it is named, beat Hooker, a resident of Sonoma valley, thirteen votes. 
Before the legislature met, Lindsay Carson resigned, and there was another 
special election on the 23d of December. W. B. Hagans was elected. This 
was a triangular fight between W. B. Hagans, .James Singley and Joseph W. 

When the legislature of 1854 met, nothing was said the first of the session 
about the removal of the county seat by the Sonoma delegation. When the 
bill was sprung, it was put through without delay, and before the drowsy So- 
nomians in the historic old city knew what was going on, the bill submitting 
the question to a vote of people, had passed. The Sonoma Bulletin, of April 
8th, says : " The first intimation we had of the peoples desire to move the 
county seat from Sonoma to Santa Rosa was through the legislative proceed- 
ings of March 28, which inform us that a bill had been introduced and passed 
for that purpose." 

The bill provided that at the fall election the vote of the people should be 
taken on the question of removal. The election took place on the 6lh of Sep- 
tember. We let the Sonoma BuUdm tell the result. In its issue of the 14th 
of September, it says: "The county seat — that's a gone, or going case! The 
np-county peo{)le worked furiously against us, and have come out victorious. 
What majority the new seat got, we are not aware; but whatever it in, why it 
is as it is, which incontestable truth consoles us." On Thursday, the 22'1 of 
September, the archives were removed to the new county seat, ^nd further 


intercBting details of the removal will be given elsewhere, in an account of the 
early history of the town of Santa Rosa. In that year Roberson & Parsons 
put on the first stage line between Sonoma and Petaluma, a straw which proves 
the growing importance of the latter place, elsewhere set forth. 

From 1854 to 18G0, the county progressed in wealth and population slowly, 
when its great advantages are considered; still its growth was healthy. The 
most rapid in wealth and population was in the city of Petaluma. 
Santa Rosa, having gotten the county seat, went to sleep — making but little 
progress. The old town of Sonoma stood still. From this time on the history 
of the county can best be carried on with that of its leading towns, to which 
we will soon invite the attention of the reader. 


The climate of the county of Sonoma difTerj in many respects from that of 
other portions of the State. First, in this: the average rainfall is about one- 
quarter more than at San Francisco, fifty miles south. We have never, since 
the American settlement of the county, lost a crop from drouth, though other 
parts of the State have suffered severely. This is particularly due to the fact 
that our coast line is thirty-five miles west of a due north line from San Fran- 
cisco. As the coast trends to the northward and westward, the annual rainfall 
increases. South of San Francisco the coast trends to the south and ea«t, and 
the reverse rule holds good — the rainfall is lighter until, as in Lower Califor- 
nia, it rarely rains at all. 

The season of rain in this section may be said to commence in October and 
end in May, though it sometimes rains in June. It is rare that it rains longer 
than two or three days at a time, and the intervals between rains varies from 
a few days to a month or six weeks. Old Caiifornians consider the winter the 
most pleasant part of the year. As soon as the rains commeme — in October — 
the grass grows, and by the middle of November the hills and pastures are 
green. So soon as the ground is in condition to plow, after the first rains, the 
farmers sow their grain. December is usually a stormy month, with now and 
then a fall of snow on the surrounding hills; but it is rare that the snow falls 
in the valleys, and never lies on the ground. The thermometer seldom goes 
as low a.s thirty-seven degrees above zero; occasionally there is a thin coat of 
ice over the pools of standing water. December is usually the month of heav- 
iest rainfall. In January one begins to recognize an indescribable feeling of 
spring in the air; the almond trees blossom, and the robins come. During 
this month grass and early-sown grain grow rapidly. If the early season has 
not been favorable for seeding, grain may be sown in .lanuary, February or 
March, and it will produce well. In this county it is often sown as late as the 
middle of April, producing a fair crop. As a rule, the bulk of the planting 
is done either in the fall, or in .January, February, and the first half of March. 

February is a growing month, and is one of the most pleasant in the year. 
It is like the month of May in the eastern Slates. The peach and cherry trees 
bloom this month. March is a stormy month ; we are liable to have either 
heavy southeast storms or a dry north wind. 


April, as in the east,' is often all smiles and tears — sunshine alternating with 
showers. Nature pushes her work in April, and vegetation grows astonish- 
ingly. The turning-point of the crop comes in the long warm days of this 
month ; the rainy season is about over, and from that time until it matures the 
crop is sustained by the sea fogs, which set in about the first of May. In 
June the grain matures, and by the middle of. July is ready for the harvest. 

The season in Sonoma county begins a month sooner, and ends six weeks 
later than in Southern California. This is one of the greatest of its advan- 
tages over the other parts of the State, and has given the farmers of this sec- 
tion a good crop every year for twenty-seven years, while disastrous failures 
have elsewhere occurred. Corn is planted in April, after the rains have 
ceased, and a good crop is often raised without a drop of rain having fallen 
upon it; by good crop we mean, on the best bottom lands, from eighty to one 
hundred bushels to the acre. 

We have mentioned the fog which sets in about the Ist of May. This phe- 
nomenon, of almost daily occurrence from May to the middle of August, is an 
important factor in the growth of the crop along the sea coast and on the 
bay of San Francisco. About the 1st of May the trade winds set in from the 
northwest. The Spanish galleons, bound from Manilla to Accapulco — three 
hundred years ago — steered for cape Mendocino, where they would encounter 
the northwest trade, and run before it, with swelling sails, to their beautiful 
harbor, Acapulco. To these winds the farmer of Sonoma, of our own time, 
is indebted for their never-failing crop. After a drying north wind in spring, 
which has parched the earth and twisted the blades of the growing grain, the 
trade sets in, and, as if by magic, the scene changes, the shriveled blades 
unfold, and absorb life at every pore from the moisture-laden breeze. 

When the trade winds set in, a fog-bank forms every day off the land, caused, 
perhaps, by the meeting of a cold and warm strata of air. In the afternoon 
this fog comes inland with the breeze, which commences about noon every day. 
It is not an unhealthful fog ; on the contrary, the most healthful season of 
the year is when the trade winds prevail. The fog spreads through the county 
late in the afternoon, continues through the night, and disappears about sun- 
rise. This mild process of irrigation is repeated nearly every day during the 
season. The farmer estimates that three heavy fogs are equal to a light rain. 

The growing season is from six weeks to two months longer on the coast 
than in the interior; the grass keeps green, and this accounts for the produc- 
tiveness of the dairy cows on the coast, and also for the fact that the wool of 
this section is very superior in length of staple, strength of fibre and in color, 
to that grown in the interior of the State. 

We will give a brief review of the seasons since the American occupation 
of tbe country, as they affected Sonoma county. The season of 1849-50 was 
extremely wet ; there was no rain gauge in this county, but not less than 45 
inches of rain fell ; the whole of Santa Kosa and Petaluma plains were flooded. 
In 1850-51 the rainfall was light ; estimating by the reported fall of 4.10 inches 
in Sacramento city, it must have been about 12 inches here. 

In 1851-52 the rainfall in this county was 24 inches ; in 1852-3 there were 
very heavy rains, and the whole of Petaluma and Santa Rosa valleys were under 


water; there was a fall of not less than 42 inches, estimating the average of 
one-fourth more rain here than in San Francisco, where a fall of 33.5 inches 
is reported. 

In 1853-54 the rainfall was 29 inches; in 1854-5, 30 inches ; in 1855-6, 25 
inches; in 185G-7, 25 inches; in 1857-8, 23 inches; in 1858-9, 23 inches; in 
1859-60, 21 inches; in 1860-1, 17 inches; in 1861-2, 46 inches; in 1862-3, 17 
inches; in 1863-4, 12 inches; in 1864-5, 26 inches; in 1866-7, 40 inches; in 
1867-8, 50 inches; in 1868-9, 26 inches; in 1869-70, 25 inches; in 1870-71, 
17 inches; in 1871-2, 40 inches; in 1872-3, 21.58 inches; in 1873-4, 29.54 
inches; in 1874-5, 23.30 inches; in 1875-6, 32.10 inches. Mean annual rain- 
fall for twenty-six years, 27 inches. 

Our crops have been more often injured by too much, than by too little rain. 
In the dry years of 1863-4 and 1864-5, enormous crops were raised in this 
county ; while in the greater part of the State there was an absolute failure of 
crops and grass. 

Sonoma county is exempt from malarial disorders. There are no extremes 
of heat or cold, and nothing like winter. It is probable that more roses and 
flowers bloom in this valley, in December, than in all the hot-houses of New 
England. The climate is all that the most fastidious could ask. There are 
no troublesome insects that prey upon vegetation or humanity. As an evi- 
dence of the evenness of the temperature, we will state, in conclusion on this 
subject, that the same clothing may be worn here the year round, and is not 
too light for winter or loo heavy for summer wear. 


There is a warm strata of air in the hills, a few hundred feet above the val- 
leys. This semi-tropical belt varies; in some localities it is very marked, and 
in others it is much less so. At night during the frosty seasons the cold air 
settles in the valleys, and the warm air rises. At daylight a severe frost may be 
seen in the valleys, heaviest along the water-courses, while in the warm belt, a 
few hundred feet above, — in some cases not more than sixty, — the most delicate 
shrubs and flowers are untouched. This season the tomato vines were not 
killed in the warm belt by the frost. The soil on the hills has often great 
depth, and is admirably adaj)ted to fruit culture. Like the valleys, lands 
are covered only by scattered groves of trees, little of it too steep for easy culti- 
vation. It is exactly suited for semi-tropical fruit culture; here oranges, 
lemons, limes, English walnuts, almonds and pomegranate trees grow well, and 
yield a certain crop. There are thousands of acres of this kind of land in 
Sonoma county, which can be bought at from fifteen to twenty dollars per acre. 
We know orchards where the fruits most sensitive to frost have never yet been 
injured ; where the geranium, the fuchia and heliotrope will grow out of doors, 
and blos.=om in the winter months. Semi-tropical fruits are grown in the 
valleys, but, excepting the almond and English walnut, not with as much cer- 
tainty as in the warm belt. The value of the hill lands of Sonoma county is 
not yet appreciated, — least of all by those who have been longest here. 



Agrieulture cut no figure in the minds of the pioneers, after the discovery of 
gold in 1848, in their estimates of the probabilities of the future California. 
Those who had been longest here did not know the capabilities of the soil 
they occupied; the general impression prevailed that crops could not be raised 
without irrigation. The old fathers brought that idea with them from Lower 
California, and had never gotton rid of it. It remained for the Americans, 
when the first eager thirst for gold was satisfied, to prove that California was to 
surpass the world in the field of agriculture, horticulture and floriculture, as 
she had surpassed it in the yellow harvest of her gold fields. 

Perchance some miner, when his work was done. 

Leaned on his pick, just as the setting sun 

With ever-changing hue, and ruddy glow, 

Illumed some peaceful vale that slept below,— 

And as he gazed, a vision fair arose 

Of what the unknown future might disclose ; 

He saw neat homesteads rise upon the plain. 

Around them waving, yellow fields of grain. 

He seemed to hear the voice of lowing kine 

And bleating flocks, borne upward on the wind. 

He saw beyond the vision still unfold. 

And California was a land of corn, of wine, and gold. 

That the priests did not know the soil would produce without irrigation, is 
proved by an incident in the history of the founding of the mission of Sonoma 
by Father Altimira, elsewhere mentioned in this sketch. He camped the 
second night, after leaving San Rafael, with his party on the arroyo Lema 
where the old adobe stands on the Petaluma plain, — now the valuable farm of 
W. D. Bliss, Esq., of Petaluma. We quote his journal : " We started from 
Lema on the morning of the 27th, about six o'clock, and explored the plain 
running east, which is extensive enough for a mission, the land being fertile 
and covered with grass, but of little use for plants, requiring irrigation in the 
summer season, for in that season the springs are dried up, as is also the brook 
running on said plat, or plain, called Chocaiomi." It would be news to the 
present owner of the rich and fertile lands around the " old adobe," to hear 
there was ever a doubt about its producing anything that grows within the 
boundaries of California, without irrigation. 

The first agriculturists in Sonoma county, and north of San Francisco, were 
the Russians. They planted orchards and vines, and raised and shipped wheat 
from Bodega bay to Sitka, in the early part of this century. Some of the fruit 
trees which they planted at Ross, now more than fifty years old, are standing, 
and bear fruit. They did not cultivate what we regard as our best wheat soil, 
but, notwithstanding, made heavy annual shipments of grain to their fur- 
hunters in Alaska. 

The next farmers were the priests, and their success proved the wonderful 
capability of the soil of Sonoma. They founded the mission of San Francisco 
Solano, at Sonoma, in 1823 ; and in 1834, eleven years after, an oflicial report 
credits the mission with three thousand horned cattle, seven hundred horses, 
four thousand sheep, and the harvest that year as three thousand bushels of 


grain. This was the product of the small tract they occupied around the 
mission in Sonoma valley. 

Up to 1851 the few Americans who were in this county raised only what 
grain they needed for their own consumption, depending mainly on cattle- 
raising for a support. The earliest trading here was for stock, and nine out of 
every ten of the civil suits before the first alcalde of Sonoma, ex-Oovernor 
Hoggs, originated in disputes about cattle or horses. There was a wonderful 
craving on the part of the Mexicanized-American farmer to own a " manada," 
a band of worthless mustang mares and colts which run ad libitum over the 

As late as January, 1853, there were but four or five Airmers on the plain 
opposite to Pelaluma. There was quite a settlement in Ureen valley, and 
there was also a few stock-raisers on the Russian river, around the "old 
adobe." on Santa Rosa creek, and at Bodega. 

The first considerable export of agricultural products from this county, under 
the American regime, was in 1850 and 1851, from the port of Bodega. The 
potatoes raised in that region became famous in the early history of San Fran- 
cisco, and they have maintained their standing in the market to this day. 
Uncle .Jimmy Watson, in 1850, with his partner, raised a big crop on land 
rented from Joseph O'Farrell, and realized enormous prices, — in short, he struck 
that year a potato "bonanza." The potatoes raised in Green valley were 
shipped, some by Bodega and others by way of the town of Sonoma. In the 
spring of 1851, William McReynolds paid two hundred and fifty dollars for a 
ton of potatoes, and planted them on his Green Valley farm. In the si)ring of 
that year he built a potato warehouse on Bodega bay for Jasper O'Farrell. In 
August of the same summer he hauled lumber to the present site of the city of 
Pelaluma, and, in partnership with James M. Hudspeth, put up a warehouse 
on the bank of the creek. It had been discovered that the produce of Green 
valley could be shipped cheaper from Petalnma than Bodega. Two small 
vessels were trading at that point; up to this time they carried only game, of 
which there was an enormous quantity in this section. Baylis & Flogsdel 
run one vessel, Linus & Wyatt another. Some hay was cut that fall, baled, 
and stored for shipment. Game, potatoes and hay were the first articles of 
exjjort via Petaluma; the former item was perhaps of greater value than both 
the latter, for a fat buck was worth from an ounce to twenty dollars. 

Fruit culture was started very early in the history of the county. Among 
the very first to engage in this now large and important interest were Mitchell 
Gillem and Mnjor Sullivan, of Green Valley. They came together to the 
county in 185(>, and thought that it appeared to be a good fruit country. 

In 1851 they heard that a man named Weeks had brought out a lot of trees 
from the East, an<l had them buried in the sand where the old Zinc House 
stood, about three and a-half miles north of Petaluma. They purchased about 
one hundred and fifty trees at one dollar and fifty cents to two dollars a-piece, 
with Mr. Churchman, of Green \'alley, and they were the first orchards 
planted. For many years after, the profit on these trees was enormous, and 
fruit culture soon grew into a trade of the first importance, and so continues to 


this day. There were, perhaps, a few small orchards in Sonoma valley, prior 
to the ones we have mentioned, but they produced nothing for export. 

From 1852 to 1855 the increase of population was large, and the growth of 
the agricultural interest was surprising. 

In 1855 we can leave the fields of conjecture and give a close approximate 
estimate of the condition of agriculture in Sonoma county. It so happened 
that the county that year had a faithful, intelligent and public-spirited assessor. 
Smith D. Towne, now a leading business man and pioneer druggist in the town 
of Petaluma. In the first number of the Petaluma Journal, issued on the 2d 
of August, 1855, we find carefully compiled, by Assessor Towne, the statistics 
of the county. Mendocino was then included with Sonoma. 

The number of acres enclosed is reported 37,052, of which 22,400 were in 

The number of acres in wheat is given at 12,233, which will yield, it is 
estimated, 28 bushels to the acre. Mr. Towne then recommended the club- 
head as the best variety to plant, and experience since has proved his sagacity. 

The number of acres seeded to oats is given at 3,268, which, it is estimated, 
will yield 35 bushels to the acre. , 

Barley. — This grain, says the assessor, has few friends this year. Number of 
acres sown, 1,561 ; average yield, 35 bushels to the acre. 

CoRN.^Of this product there are 714 acres, most of which is in the Russian 
River and Dry Creek valleys, where it seems to flourish luxuriantly. Estimated 
yield, 40 bushels to the acre. 

Rye. — Eight acres planted for an experiment. 

Buckwheat. — Ninety-nine acres planted. As yet, none harvested. Cannot 
estimate the yield. 

Peas and beans, 333 acres. 

Potatoes. — The quantity planted this year is 1,693 acres, against 2,600 last 
year. Probable yield, 40 sacks to the acre. (There was a falling off in the 
potato crop because many producers had been badly bitten the year before, 
among whom was the assessor.) 

Fruit trees. — There are 6,730 set out from one to three years old, comprising 
apples, peach, pear, apricots, quince, figs and plum, about one-third bearing. 
" I think," says the assessor, " our county will compare favorably, both as 
regards quality and quantity of fruits, with any other county in the State." 

Vineyards. — There are many fine vineyards, numbering, in the aggregate, 
24,800 vines, which are loaded with grapes. 

Cattle. — Number milch-cows, 3,350 ; total cattle of all kinds, 26,250; horse.s, 
total number, 4,958 ; hogs, total number, 19,459 ; sheep, total number, 7,065. 

Now, by way of contrast, we propose to give the figures of the assessor of 
Sonoma for the year 1876. The reader will please bear in mind that the sta- 
tistics are, in almost every case, below, rather than above the estimate, as there 
is always a reluctance on the part of the taxpayer to give information to one 
who levies or gathers a tax. 



Land enclosed — acres, 310,520; land cultivated — acres, 195,575. Wheat — 
acres 45,000, bushels 800,000; barley— acres 21,213, bushels 424.201; oats- 
acres 10,597, bushels 587,410; rye — acres 225, bushels 4,500; corn — acres 
37,000, bushels 740,000 ; beans — acres 125, bushels 2,500 ; potatoes- acres 2,500, 
tons (3,000; sweet potatoes — acres 120, tons 3,000; hay — acres 43,744, tons 
50,000; hops — acres 150, pounds 15,000. 


Butter, pounds 2,125,000 

Cheese, pounds 250,000 

Wool, pounds 750,000 


Bearing lemon trees, 372; oranges, 1,994; olive trees, 227; apple trees, 
112,376; pear trees, 24,722; peach trees, 57,813; plum trees, 17,467; cherry 
trees, 12,310; nectarine trees, 1,510; quince trees, 2,100 ; apricot trees, 1,725; 
tig trees, 1,000 ; almond trees, 9,845; walnut — English, 5,300 ; walnut — black, 
800; prune trees, 725; mulberry trees, 625, 


Wine-making is one of the leading industries of Sonoma county. Sonoma 
Valley is almost wholly devoted to grape-culture ; on an average 680 vines are 
planted to the acre ; the yield in grapes is from 10 to 30 pounds to the vine. 
It takes 14 pounds of grapes to make a gallon of wine. The system of "short 
pruning " is practised ; the vines are cut back to the stump every year, and 
the finest clusters of grapes often rest on the ground. We give herewith a 
tabulated statement of the wine and brandy manufactured in the valley of So- 
noma last year, with the names of the wine-growers, and estimates for the 
rest of the county. 

A law was passed by Congress last session which permits producers to store 
their brandy in bonded warehouses and pay the internal revenue duty of sev- 
enty cents per gallon when the brandy is sold or withdrawn for consumption. 
This will largely increase the production. 




[The figures indicate gallons.] 

Wine. Brandy. Brandy 

under new law. 

Goess, Geo. A 1,500 

Hooper, Geo. F 20,000 

Wegener, Julius 3,000 

Sonoma Wine & Brandy Co. 160,000 

Lamotte, Alfred V 30,000 

Gibson, John 3,000 










Warfield, J. B 

JuBti, Charles 

Clark, John E 

Williams, Jos. A 

Whitman, G. W. & H. H... 

Watriss, Geo. E 

Mayers, L. W^ 

Aquillon, C 

Moorse, E. E 

Bradford, Ward 

Glaister, T. S 

Haubert, Jacob 

Dresel, Julius 

Winkle, Henry 


Simon, Jacob 

Dominico, A 

Haraszthy, A. F 

Tichner, Estate of L 

Poppe, J. A 

Snyder, J. E, 

Weyl & Leiding 

Craig, O. W 

Carriger, N 

Kodgers, W. K 

Chauvet, J 

Stewart, Charles V 

Gundlach, Jacob 

Hood, Wm 

Buena Vista Vincult'l Soc. 

Kochler & Froehlick 

Wohler, Herman 

Wise, Christian 

Winegardner, F 

Nau, Thomas 

Asphalt, N 

Rommel, C 

Steer, G 

Guerne, F 

Manning, R 

Shaw, James 

Wine. Brandy. Brandy 

under new law. 
280,000 10,000 

6,000 200 

17,000 5,000 

25,000 260 5,000 

50,000 2,000 

12,000 300 

35,000 1,000 

12,000 350 


52,000 2,000 

10,000 100 


32,000 300 

42,000 500 

25,000 500 


15,000 500 

35,000 200 500 

75,000 700 3,000 

17,000 350 1,000 

12,000 200 

15,000 1,000 

25,000 2,000 

35,000 1,500 4,000 

25,000 800 

10,000 150 3,000 


95,000 6,000 

80,000 3,000 6,000 

158,000 4,000 

45,000 4,000 











Total 1,335,700 22,230 60,000 

The wine product of Santa Eosa and the Guillicos valleys is about 500 000 


The wine product of Russian River township is about 400,000 gallons. 
The wine product of Mendocino and Washington townships aggregates about 
500,000 gallons. The rest of the county 100,000 gallons. 

Total wine product of Sonoma county for 1876, 2,535,000 gallons. 


Horses, 9,246: mules, 717 ; cattle of all grades, 28,154 ; sheep of all grades, 
250,000; common goats, 1,021 ; Cashmere and Angora, full blood, 500; hogs, 


Gristmills 10— steam power 3, water power 7 ; saw-mills 13 — steam power ' 
13; lumber, sawed— feet 50,000,000, shingles 10,000,000; woolen mill, 1; 
boot and shoe factory, 1; Alden fruit dryers, 3; railroads — broad-guage 1, 
length 70 miles, value $378,300 ; narrow-guage 1, length in this county about 
25 miles; value |75,000 per mile. 

Registered voters 6,000 

Estimated population 40,000 

We think the contrast of the above figures with those of 1855 will show a 
very steady rate of progress for a period of little more than twenty years, and 
the county has just begun to advance. 

Taking the statistics of the assessor, and from other sources, we have made an 
estimate of the value of the annual products of Sonoma county for the present 
year. Many of the products here given will largely increase, especially the 
yield of the forests, for the reason that both railroads have recently been com- 
pleted to the timber region, and a number of new mills are building. 


Sonoma county possesses one marked advantage over most of the agricultural 
counties of this Slate. It has an immense source of wealth in its timber. The 
great redwood timber-belt commences in Humboldt and reaches down the coast 
for one hundred and fifty miles, terminating in Sonoma county. From 
the Valhalla — the north boundary-line of Sonoma — to the mouth of Russian 
river the county along the coast is timbered. The timber grows inland from 
the sea-shore for about eight miles. The reader will see by reference to the 
map that Russsian river turns around the town of Healdsburg, and flows west; 
just after leaving the valley it enters the timber-region, through which it flows 
to the sea. A branch of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad leaves 
the main road at Fulton and runs into this timber, terminating at Guerneville, 
a lumber-manufacturing centre. The timber in the Russian River bottom is 
not surpassed on this coast. Fed by the rich alluvial soil, and watered by the 
annual overflow of the river, the trees grew to an enormous size. Some of 
them will measure fifteen feet in diameter, and are over three hundred and 
fifty feet high. They grow to the height of one hundred and fifty feet without 
lateral branches, the bole of the tree preserving a remarkable uniformity of 
size. In some cases a single tree has been worked-up into sixty-five thousand 
feet of lumber, worth at least one thousand dollars. The wood in the tree 


standing is valued at two dollars per thousand feet. One hundred and fifty 
thousand feet to the acre, six million feet on a forty-acre tract, is an average 
of good land. The very finest timber on the margin of the streams would 
produce at least eight hundred thousand feet to the acre, and the yield runs 
downward from that figure to twenty-five thousand feet to the acre. 

The redwood belongs exclusively to the foggy coast-regions ; south of San 
Francisco the supply has been cut out, and as it grows nowhere else, either 
north or south, Sonoma, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties may be said to 
have a monoply of this wood, the first in commercial importance on tlie Pacific 
coast. Oregon, with her magnificent forests, has none ; Piiget sound, with a 
lumber supply incalculable, has no redwood; nor does it grow anywhere on 
either slope of the Sierra Nevada. 

The redwood is a close-grained timber, splits true, and is very light in color, 
like the Eastern cedar. It works beautifully under the plane, and has the 
merit of retaining its place and shape without warp or shrinkage, lis dura- 
bility is unquestioned. Hundreds of miles of redwood fences, built twenty 
years ago, are yet sound, and attest this fact. For fence-posts and railroad ties 
it is the best wood known, resisting the action of both air and water with 
matchless durability. 

Sonoma and Mendocino counties furnished the ties for the Central Pacific 
Kailroad. Every Eastern train that crosses the Sierra rolls over the product of 
the forests of Sonoma. The redwood is also used for ties on the Southern Pacific, 
and ties from this county are now laid on the desert of the Colorado. They 
have gone further, having been shipped to South America for that wonderful 
road which leads from Lima, in Peru, to the summit of the Andes, seventeen 
thousand feet above the level of the Pacific. Harry Meiggs, who built the road, 
was once a mill-owner in this county. He remembered the redwood and its 
valuable properties, and ordered from our forests ties for his railroad up the 
Andes. The redwood is a creature of the fog. During the summer months 
the trade-winds blow along the north coast with great regularity. A dense 
fog banks up some miles from the shore ; later in the day the wind increases, 
and the fog is driven inland. Detached masses first come in like flying squad- 
rons, creeping through the foliage of the tallest trees, crawling over the hill- 
tops, and down the opposite slopes, filling up the canons, and soon hill and 
valley are enveloped in dripping mist. 

The foliage of the redwood possesses the peculiar power of condensing this 
miat and converting it into rain, thus supplying the roots which sustain the 
mighty bole of the tree with moisture during the long and rainless months of 
summer. The fog continues through the night, and disappears with the 
sunrise. This irrigating process is repeated every day during the prevalence 
of the trades. Few persons can appreciate the grandeur of these redwood 
forests. Last summer the writer stood upon the summit of the coa-st range; 
to the northward lay a sweep of majestic forests unsurpassed on the continent 
— tier upon tier, range after range of redwoods, until, fifty miles away in the 
distance, their green crests faded or merged with the colors of the horizon ; and 
could we have compassed the outer bound of vision, beyond, to an equal dis- 
tance, the eye would have been greeted by unbroken forests, 


We now propose to give the number and capacity of the saw-mills of Sonoma 
county, with an estimate of the amount of standing timber owned by each, 
commencing with the most northerly mill, coming southward, and thence to 
the mills on the eastern side of the limber-belt which supplies our local 
demand. The lumber manufactured on the sea-coast is shipped altogether to 
San Francisco. 

First, we have the Gualala Mill Company, Haywood E. Harmon, superin- 
tendent, with a capacity for cutting 30,000 feet of lumber a day. 

This company owns about two square miles of timber land on the Sonoma 
side of the river, averaging about 50,000 feet to the acre, say 75,000,000 feet. 

Next we have the Clipper Mill Company with a capacity of 30,000 feet a 
day ; about 3,000 acres of land belong to this company, which will average 
40,000 feet to the acre, say 125,000,000 feet. 

The Piatt Mill Company has a cutting capacity of 30,000 feet a day, and 

1,500 acres of land which will average 75,000 feet to the acre, say 112,000,000 


Between the last named mill, which is located at Stewart's point, a shipping 

place on the coast and Russian river, a distance of twenty miles, there are dif- 
ferent bodies of timber, the most valuable of which belongs to O. ^X. Call, of 
Fort Ross; it lies north of Black mountain, contains 400 acres, and will yield 
at least 30,000,000 feet ; other lots will aggregate say 100,000,000 feet, a total 
from Stewart's point to Russian river, of 125 000,000 feet. Total of all timber 
between the Valhalla and Russian river, 437,000,000 feet. 

Duncan's mill, formerly A.. Duncan & Co., now Duncan's Mill, Land, and 
Lumber Company, is building a new mill on the north side of the Russian river 
at a point where the North Pacific Railroad bridge crosses the river; they 
own on that side of the river 3,600 acres of land, which will yield a total o£ 
say 216,000,000 feet. 

The tract of land known as the Moore Brother's tract, now the property of 
the Russian River Land and Lumber Association, has two mills upon it, the 
largest with a capacity of 30,000 feet i)er day ; the other, known as Stewart's 
mill, with a capacity for cutting 20,000 feet per day. This company owns 
9,000 acres of land lying south of Ru.ssian river, and west of Howard's canon, 
upon which there is, say 450,000,000 feet of lumber. 

We now propose to give an estimate of the timber in the Bodeg i district, 
south of Russian river, and north of Howard's canon. 

Meeker Bros. & Co. have 2,800 acres, upon which there is 170,000,000 feet. 

DuHcan, Bixby & Co. have 1,100 acres, on which there is 45,000,000 feet. 

On the Jonive ranch there is left about 30,000,000 feet ; on the Bodega ranch 
about 20,000,000 ; .1. K. Smith's tract 10,000,000 ; Latham & Streeten's tract, 
10.000,000 ; scattering outside lands held by various owners, say ()0,()00,000. 
Total in the Bodega country and north of Howard's canon, 345 000,000 feet. 

In the timber section opposite Guerneville, on Russian river, R. E. Lewis 
owns 220 acres of land, which will cut 60,000 feet to the acre ; a total of 10,- 
800,000 feet. 

The Madrona Company have a tract of land of about 1,000 acres, with an 


estimated amount of standing lumber equal to 55,000,000 feet ; their mill has 
a capacity of 35,000 feet per day. 

S. H. Torrence has about 60 acres, which will cut, say 60,000 feet to the 
acre; total, 3,600,000 feet. Henry Beaver has 120 acres which will average 
60,000 feet, say 7,200,000 feet ; other parties on Pocket canon, say 15,000,000 
feet. Total timber opposite Guerneville, and in Pocket caiion, 33,000,000 feet. 

On the north side of Russian river, from Dutch Bill creek to Hurlbut canon, 
700 acres averaged 60,000 feet, equal to a total of 42 000,000 feet. In Hurlbut 
canon 2,000 acres at 60,000 feet to the acre, 120,000,000 feet. In the Big Bot- 
tom, near Guerneville, W. H. Willets has 160 acres of bottom land which will 
cut 15,000.000 feet. H. T. Hewitt has 160 acres which will cut 10,000,000 feet. 
R. B. Lunsford has 200 acres, say 12,000,000 feet. Heald & Guerne, beside 
their Hurlbut-canon timber, have 360 acres which will average 60,000 feet, a 
total of 21,600,000 feet ; Murphy Bros. 15,000,000 feet ; Ike and Tom Smith 
120 acres, 60,000 feet to the acre, 7,200,000 feet; .1. B. Arra.etrong 420 acres, 
20,000,000 feet ; .James Peugh 40 acres bottom land, 60,000,000 ; H. Specker- 
man 40 acres, say 4,000,000 feet ; J. K. Wood, 160 acrrs, 6,400,000 feet; Henry 
Miller 200 acres, 60,000 feet to the acre, 12,000,000; S. B. Torrence 20 acres, 
150,000 feet to the acre, 3,000,000 feet. 

In Elliott canon, Korbel Bro'. own land which will yield 22,000,000 ; John 
Beaver 60 acres, which will cut about 5,000,000 feet. 

On Mill creek the Marshall timber will cut about 15,000,000 feet. 

There are three large saw-mills near Guerneville. Korbel Bros', mill with a 
capacity of 30,000 feet a day ; Murphy Bros, with a capacity of 30,000 feet ; 
Heald & Guerne's mill with a capacity of about 30,000 feet a day. 

In Bodega township there are four mills, Meeker Bros., Ben Joy, and 
J. K. Smith's, with a capacity each for sawing 15,000 feet of lumber a day, 
and another mill, owned by Frank Gilford, with a capacity of about 4,000 feet 
a day. It is estimated by lumbermen that when the timber is cut, cord-wood 
left standing on the land will make more freight than the lumber did. 

The cutting capacity of all the mills in the county, with an estimate of their 
annual production of lumber is herewith given. The mills are not run more 
than nine months in the year, and not up to their full capacity. 


Gualala mill capacity 30,000 feet. ...annual product... 5,000,000 

Clipper mill capacity 30,000 feet.... annual product... 5,000 000 

Piatt's mill capacity 30,000 feet.... annual product... 5,000,000 

Duncan's Mill L. &L. A. ...capacity 30,000 feet... annual product... 5,000,000 

Russian River L. & L. A... capacity 30,000 feet.... annual product .. 5,000,000 

Streeten's mill capacity 30,000 feet.... annual prod uct... 4,000,000 

Heald & Guerne's mill capacity 30,000 feet.... annual product... 4,000,000 

Murphy Bros, mill capacity 30,000 feet.. ..annual product... 5,000,000 

Korbel Bros, mill capacity 30,000 feet. ...annual product... 5,000,000 

J. K. Smith's mill capacity 12,000 feet... .annual product... 2,000,000 

Ben Joy's mill capacity 12,000 feet.... annual product... 2,000,000 


Meeker Bros, mill capacity 15,000 feet.. ..annual product... 3,000,000 

F. Gilford'H mill capacity 10,000 feet annual product... 1,000,000 

Madrona mills capacity 35,000 feet-... annual product... 6,000,000 

Total daily capacity of all mills... 354,000 Total annual product 57,000,000 

At this rate of consumption, our limber in reach of the railroads would last 
for nearly fifty year?, and more transportation in cord-wood and tan-bark 
would be left upon the land than had been hauled ofi' in lumber. An extension 
of the railroad will of course open up new fields. It is now quite certain that 
the narrow-gauge road will follow Austin creek from Russian river, cross the 
divide, and go down the Valhalla. This would open up an immense field 
not now in reacii of market. 


Between Valhalla and Russian river 437,000,000 

Duncan's Mill, Land and Lumber Co 210,000,000 

Russian River Land and Lumber Co 450,000,000 

Bodega country and north of Howard's caiion 345,000,000 

Opposite Guerneville 33,000,000 

Hiirlbut's canon, Big Bottom, Elliott's canon 350,000,000 

Marshall timber on Mill creek 15,000,000 

Total number of feet in county 1,846,000,000 

The reader will bear in mind that there are several million cords of tan- 
bark and cord-wood, of which no estimate has been made. In estimating the 
redwood, we have figured on from fifty to sixty thousand feet to the acre; on 
best bottom lands there are acres that will yield eight hundred thousand feet; 
on thin land the yield will run a.s low as twenty-five thousand feet to the acre. 


We herewith give a brief description of the other valuable commercial 
woods which grow in the forests of Sonoma, commencing with the California 
laurel, a beautiful evergreen which grows in the redwood belt. The wood 
bears a high polish, and is extensively u.sed as veneer ; leaves and wood have 
a strong aromatic odor. It is a valuable product of the Sonoma fore ts. 

The nuulrona, one of the most striking of the trees of CaliforniH, grows 
abundantly in this .section. Tbe bark is a bright red color, anti peels ofl' at 
regular intervals; the new bark is a pea-green color. The wood is hnrd, and 
is employed for making shoe-lasts, wooden stirrups, and other articles. It is 
the hand.soinest of the forest's trees, but will not bear transplanting. 


The chestnut-oak, 7Hcrcii.s f/ yWa, is abundant in the redwood forests of 
Sonoma. The bark is rich in tannin; the trees are stripped, and large quan- 
tities of the bark are shipped for tanning hides. The price of the bark in 
San Francisco is from fifteen to seventeen dollara per cord ; consumption about 
one hundred and fifty cords a month. The wood of this tree is used in the 
manufacture of chairs at the Forrestville and other factories. 


The live-oak grows abundantly in this county ; it has little commercial value, 
except for fuel. The black-oak is found on all the hill-lands in the county, 
and is the best wood we have for fuel. The burr-oak is the largest and most 
common of the oaks. It is this tree, with its long pendant branches, that gives 
to California scenery its peculiar charm. They grow in clusters, and long may 
they stand to adorn the landscape. A clump of this variety of oaks may be 
seen in the Plaza of Santa Kosa. 


As early as 1852 there were reported discoveries of gold on Russian river. 
One of the Kelseys led a prospecting party as far as Eel river. This party 
discovered and named Eden valley, and Round valley, in Mendocino county, 
then a part of Sonoma. They, too, first crossed and gave the name Sanhedrin 
to the grand mountain which overlooks all the beautiful valleys of Mendocino. 
They met with no great success, and returned, but some members of the 
party still live in that part of Mendocino county, then first seen by white men. 
In 1854 reports of gold discoveries on Russian river were revived, but soon 
died out. 

After the discovery and occupation of Geyser springs, the abundant indica- 
tions of cinnabar in the neighborhood attracted attention. The price of quick- 
silver at the time was low, — fifty cents a pound ; the cost of reduction was 
great, and the Almaden mine was producing a supply adequate to the demand. 
For these reasons no especial attention was paid to the indications of mercury 
everywhere visible on the surface near the Geysers. 

In 1859 Colonel A. C. Godwin, then the owner of the Geyser springs, organ- 
ized a mining district, located a number of claims himself, and a number of 
others were also taken up. These claims were afterwards consolidated into 
one or two companies, and some work was done upon them. The low price of 
quicksilver, the scarcity of labor, and lack of skill in manipulating the ore, 
led to loss, and finally put a stop to all work on the mines. In 1861 Colonel 
Godwin, who had given the enterprise most of its life, sold his interest in the 
springs and mines, and returned to the East. The stock of the consolidated 
companies went to zero, and the mines were sold at sheriff's sale to satisfy the 
demand of creditors. Professor Whitney, with a corps of scientists, came 
along soon afterwards, and, with his "no vein theory" in the coast range, 
extinguished the last spark of life in mining enterprises in Sonoma, for the 

From 1861 to 1872 no work was done on the quicksilver mines. In the 
latter part of 1871, and early in 1872, a lively interest in the mines revived, — 
quicki^ilver having advanced to one dollar a pound. Claims in the old district 
were re-located, roads were built, a mining town sprung up, and at least five 
hundred men were at work in the district. A lawsuit was commenced between 
the old and new locaters, which brought to the county-seat of Santa Rosa a 
number of the most distinguished mining lawyers of the Pacific coast, and 
learned and eloquent arguments were made, which engaged the court for a 
prolonged session, creating for the time more excitement than was ever before 
witnessed in any case in the courts of Sonoma. 




Just after the case was settled, quicksilver again fell in the market to fifty 
cents a pound. This at once checked the work of development, as most of the 
claimants were prospectors, hoping to pay their way from the products of the 
mine, and it cost them as much to get the metal out as it would bring in 
the market. Of the number of claims taken up, two have proved very valu- 
able, — the Oakland and the Cloverdale. The Oakland mine is situated near 
Geyser peak, which we have elsewhere mentioned. It is at the head of a deep 
gorge, on the north, side of the mountain, known from its wild and sombre 
depths, as the " Devil's canon." The Oakland, from the opening of the mine, 
has had good ore, and more than paid its way. It is now working in the three- 
hundred-foot level, in a seven-foot seam of exceedingly rich ore. The furnace 
at the mine is a small one, — the product, about two hundred flasks a month, is 
up to its full capacity, and metal for at least one hundred and fifty flasks more 
per month is left upon the dump for a time when a larger furnace will be built. 
The ore is cinnabar, sulphate of mercury, and specimens are found which will 
retort seventy-five per cent of metal. The average of the ore worked is about 
four per cent. ; lower grade ore is laid aside for the reduction at some future 

About seven miles from the Geysers, on Sulphur creek, four miles northwest 
of the Oakland, the Cloverdale mine is situated. The hill in which this mine 
is located has all the appearance of an extinct geyser. The metal is diffused 
through the hill, and is found in the country rock, and in fine dust. There is 
a furnace at this mine, made with the view of working the latter kind of ore, 
which is rarely found. The Cloverdale is working two hundred flasks of metal 
per month, with very limited furnace capacity, and its production might be 
largely increased. It is regarded as one of the most promising mines on the 

In a different part of the county, near Guerneville, — the reader can locate 
the place on the map, — two other valuable mines are located : one is known 
as the Great Eastern, and the other as the Mount Jackson. They are four 
miles north of Guerneville. The Great Eastern and Great Western mines were 
located in the spring of 1874, by Messr.^. Gum, Zane and Lewis, of Healds- 
burg. The two mines are separated only by an intervening canon, through 
which a small .stream has cut a deep channel. The Western was sold by the 
locators to a company of Healdsburg gentlemen, and the name was changed to 
Mount Jackson. 

The Great Eastern was leased by the owners to Messrs. Parrott i^ Co., of San 
Francisco, who are wealthy merchants and deal largely in quicksilver for the 
Mexican and South American trade. Their lease was for six years, commencing 
August 1, 1874. Operations were commenced in September following, and have 
been steadily continued up to the present time. A bench of retorts was erected 
in the summer of 187r), which were used to burn the selected ore. The retorts 
were kept running until the building of the Eamea furnace was commenced in 
1876. There are ten thousand feet of tunnel in the mine, and five shafts, mainly 
for prospecting purposes. The ore now worked is taken from a body ten by 
forty feet in size, in which a shaft has been sunk to a depth of eighty feet into 
ore averaging about four per cent, mercury. The ore is brought to the furnace 


at a cost which does not exceed ten cents a ton, on an incline one hundred and 
fifty feet long. The monthly production of the mine with an Eames fine-ore 
rotary furnace, is about two hundred flasks of metal a month. Total amount 
produced, about one thousand flasks. The mine looks well, and in a few years 
will produce metal in large quantities. 

The Mount Jackson is also a very promising mine. Work was commenced on 
it in 1873, and has not stopped for a single day. There are two thousand two 
hundred feet of tunnel in this mine — four furnaces have been built, and four hun- 
dred and forty-three flasks of metal Jiave been taken out; of this amount three 
hundred and fifty have been produced in the last four months. A new tunnel 
is now under way, which will be six hundred feet long, giving one hundred feet 
in depth on the ledge. Since first commencing work eighty-five thousand 
dollars have been expended on the mine. The Mount Jackson will one day 
fully equal the expectations of its owners. 

We have mentioned specially only the four leading mines — there are a num- 
ber of others which can be worked to advantage whenever the owners are 
ready to develop them. If the demand would justify it, the quicksilver mines 
of Sonoma could be made to produce from three to five thousand flasks of mer- 
cury a month. 

There are a number of very promising viens of copper ore in this county, 
but none have been sufliciently worked to prove their value. 

In many parts of Sonoma county coal indications have been found, but none 
have been fully developed. There is a ledge near the town of Santa Rosa, in 
Cotate or Taylor mountain, which is opening with most flattering prospects 
of success. Coal has been taken from this mine, which is not surpassed by any 
yet discovered on this coast- The coals of the Pacific are all inferior to the 
Eastern coals. They are rather a lignite than a true coal. They do not coke 
but burn to ashes like wood ; for domestic and steam use they answer admir- 
ably. A company composed of the wealthiest citizens of Sonoma county, with 
ample capital, has been organized to work Taylor Mountain mine, and there 
is every reason to believe that we are on the eve of opening up a deposit of 
coal which will be more valuable than any gold mine in the State. Should coal 
be added to ovir products it would soon put Sonoma county in the first rank of 
manufacturing counties, as it is now first in wine, fruit, dairy, lumber and other 
products of the soil. 


Among the noted springs and places of interest in Sonoma county, the Gey- 
sers are justly entitled to pre-eminence. They are locate! in the Mayacmas 
range of mountains, one thou>»and seven hundred feet above the sea-level. Im- 
agine a clear, bold stream, a rod wide, fliwing through a great cafion, with 
lofty mountains upon either side. Ituagine a vast trench, a quarter of a mile 
long, appropriately called the '' Devil's caiion," cutting the mountain, on the 
cast side of the creek, at right-angles ; in this trench or cut are the water and 
steam jt-ts which fonu the Geysers. The springs, uniting their waters, make 
up a stream hissing hot, which falls into Pluto creek. We will not attempt a 
description, further than to say that the sides of this trench are scorched and 


burnt, and through its whole length issue whirring steam-jets and boiling wa- 
ter, some of which is black as ink. Standing in the middle of this discord of 
harsh sounds, and enveloped in a sulphurous vapor, it requires no great stretch 
of fancy to imagine one has passed from the accustomed order and beauty of 
nature to the threshold of chaos. 

The first known white man that visited these springs was Wm. B. Elliott, in 
April, 1847, though they were known to the Indians prior to that time. There 
is a steam spring knojvn as the Indian Sweat-bath, where those of the tribe af- 
flicted with rheumatism were brought and laid upon a scaffold immediately 
over the spring, and steamed until cured, or death carried them to the hunting 
grounds of the Great Spirit, where the twisting pangs of rheumatism are un- 

The first house at the Geysers was built by M. Levy on a beautiful flat just 
west of the springs. Upon this flat the fearless hunter Elliott, the discoverer 
of the Geysers, and his son killed a grizzly bear who was inclined to dispute 
the right of the white man to explore the mysteries of the Devil's canon. The 
house which Levy built upon this flat was known as the Old Homestead, and 
is remarkable for a wild grape-vine on its site, measuring twelve inches in 
diameter. In 1854 Major Ewing erected a cloth house where the present hotel 
stands. Levy, finding it a more eligible situation than his own, consolidated 
his interest with Major Ewing's. After this a saw-mill was brought in, and a 
part of the hotel now in use was built. 

The late Colonel A. C. (Godwin, then a merchant in Geyserville, became an 
owner in the properly soon after it was settled. (Jolonel Godwin was a man 
of winning manners, and a personal magnatism that attracted ail who knew 
him. Together with him, and another dear friend, deceased, the writer, on his 
first visit, in 1857, explored the wonders of Geyser canon. After a lapse of 
years we revisited the same scene with a guide; the associations and surround- 
ings recalled to memory the first owner of the Geysers, and brought forcibly to 
mind the beautiful words of the poet : 

" Many a year is in its grave 
Since I crossed this restless wave; 
And the evening, fair as ever, 
Shines on ruin, rocli, and river, 
Tlien on this same stream beside 
Stood two comrades, old and tried; 
Take O! stranger thrice thy fee, 
Take— I give It willingly. 
For, invisible to thee. 
Spirits twain have walked with me." 

The first route to the springs was through Knight's valley to the foot of the 
mountain, in stages, then on horse-back by a narrow trail over the mountain. 
W. McDonald, still a resident of Knight's valley, acted as guide. Levy kept 
the hotel during Mr. Godwin's ownership; he was succeeded by Major Ewing, 
and Major Ewing by H. lilting. After Mr. Utting the place changed hands 
nearly every year, and the hotel was kept successively by Coe & Baxter, Clark 
Foss, and F. H. Coe. In 1866 it was rented by Major Shafer, who kept it 


until 1870 ; he waa succeeded by J. C. Susenbeth, who remained there three 
years. B. S. Hollingsworth was the lessee for the years 1874-5-6 and 7 ; he 
was succeeded, in April of this year, by Mr. W. Forsyth, the present proprietor. 
The first register kept at the springs was in the year 1854, and there are but 
twenty names upon it. Fiom that time on, the number increased every year 
until 1875, when three thousand five hundred names were enrolled. The first 
wagon-road made to the Geysers was from Healdsburg over what is called 
the Hog's Back ridge. On the 15th of May, 1861, R. C. Flournoy drove a 
double team and buggy over the new road, and to him belongs the credit of 
taking the first wheeled vehicle of any kind to the Geyser springs. He was 
accompanied by a lady, and reached the hotel at eleven o'clock p. M., without 
breaking a bolt. The main trail to the Geysers was over this road until 1869, 
when a toll-road was built from Knight's valley, and a stage-line was put on 
that route. In 1874 the toll-road from Cloverdale up Sulphur creek was built, 
and opened the following season. Of all the roads to the Geysers, that from 
Healdsburg, over the Hog's Back, is the most interesting and beautiful ; it 
follows the crest of the high ridge separating the waters of Big and Little Sul- 
phur creeks, pnssing close under the shadow of Geyser peak, affording a view 
of the great Eussian River valley and the sea beyond, unsurpassed anywhere 
in its breadth, variety, and beauty. N. W. Bostwick runs passengers through 
by this route, with first-class vehicles, and in the shortest possible time. There 
are other roads into the springs from Lake county, and there is also a good trail 
from Geyserville. The springs can be reached by private conveyance in about 
three hours' and a-half travel from Santa Rosa. 


Skaggs' Springs are next in importance and popularity to the Geysers, and 
are crowded annually by those in quest of health or pleasure from all parts of 
the Pacific coast. These springs are situated at the head of Dry Creek valley, 
about eight miles west of the depot of the San Francisco and North Pacific 
Railroad at Geyserville. The land upon which they are located was entered 
in 1856 by William Skaggs, A. Skaggs, and William and John Knight, as a 
grazing ranch. In the spring of 1857 A. Skaggs bought out his partners, and 
has since continued sole proprietor. 

There are a number of hot sulphur springs at Skaggs' of delicious tempera- 
ture for bathing. There is also a cold soda and iron spring, a valuable tonic 
for invalids, but the luxurious baths, which seem to recreate one anew, are the 
chief attractions of the place. The first regular visitors to Skaggs' came in 
1860, the number increased until 1864, when it became apparent that the med- 
icinal properties of the water were fast extending its reputation, and would 
justify an outlay for permanent improvements, which were at once commenced. 
The house was open for the reception of guests in 1864 by A. Skaggs ; he rented 
the place in 1867 and resumed control in 1868. In 1869 and 1870 the house 
was leased by John Leonard, and in 1871 by B. F. Tucker. Perry Emmerson 
kept it in 1872-73, and since that time the springs have been under the man- 
agement of Mr. Skaggs himself. 


A large Hiira of money has been expended by (he proprietor. There are 
good accommodations for at least three hundred persons in the hotels and the 
cottages which surround it. There are elegant walks and drives about the 
grounds, and it is no exaggeration to say that it is the most popular place of 
resort for families north of the bay of San Francisco, 

The largest number of guests the first year the springs were opened, on any 
one day, did not exceed twenty ; now as many as three hundred have registered 
in a day, and for the season they may be counted by the thousands. The loca- 
tion of the springs will be seen on the accompaning map. To reach Skaggs', 
passengers may leave San Francisco any day by the morning or evening 
boat, and in three hours, by steamer and car, arrive at Geyserville, when an ele 
gant four-horse stage awaits the cars. I'rom Gey.serville the distance over a 
beautiful road to the springs is but eight miles, just long enough to give a real 
zest to the bath, which comes always first and last in order. These justly popu- 
lar springs grow in reputation every year because they have real merit, and 
the proprietor does all that can be done for the comfort and pleasure of his 
numerous patrons. 

Litton Springs are located four miles from Healdsburg, on the line of the 
railroad. They were improved about two years ago by Captain Litton, the 
owner, at an expense of Sl^O.OOU. There is a very handsome hotel and a num- 
ber of cottages. Tlie water is an agreeable seltzer, and is bottled and sold in 
considerable quantities. When better known, no doubt Litton will become a 
favorite place of resort. We have not heard who has charge of the hotel for 
this season. These springs may be reached any day by the regular trains of the 
San Francisco and iNorth Pacific Railroad. 

The Makk West Springs are situated on Mark West creek, about nine 
miles from Santa Kosa; they are beautifully located in a bend of the creek 
which forms a romantic little dell surrounded by chapparal hills. These hills 
during the season display colors as rich as the mountain healher, which has 
been celebrated in the old country in song and story. It is not overdrawing 
ihe picture to say that in mid-summer the little valley in which the springs 
are located, glows like an emerald set about with opals. 

The chief attraction of this spring is its sulphur bath. They are owned by 
Judge A. P. Overton, of Santa Rosa, and are leased by Mr. Simpson, an ex- 
perienced popular landlord. Their nearness to Santa Rosa, and the excellence 
of the baths will always make Mark West sjirings a favorite and fashionable 
place of summer resort. 

White Sulphur Springs are situated two miles and a half from Santa 
Rosa, under the Cotate peak, which overlooks the city. They are owned by 
John Taylor, and ate leased by Mr. Hughes. The place is well improved; 
the water holds in solution sulphur, soda, magnesia, and iron, and is con- 
sidered very healing for many of the ills that flesh is heir to. There are also 
a number of well-fitted bath-rooms supplied with hot and cold mineral water. 
It is a favorite drive from Santa Rosa to the springs, and they are also pat- 
ronized by many from abroad. 



The petrified forest deserves liberal space in any description of the places of 
interest in the county of Sonoma. It is a fossil forest of great extent, and not 
the least of its curious features is its owner, Charles Evans, or Petrified Charley, 
as he is now called. Charley is a Swede, who was born, well, no matter when, 
at all events, a long time after St. Helena buried the living forest of which we 
now have a cast in stone, in scoria from its heart of fire. The only possible 
connection between Charlie and the volcanic period is that the latter saw the 
trees buried, and the former exhumed them, and forms the missing link 
between the past and the present period. 

The forest is sixteen miles from Santa Rosa. It was not brought prominently 
into notice until 1871, when the land was enclosed by the present owner. 
Professor Whiting visited it, and Sam Brannan had a large rockery at the Cal- 
istoga springs from fragments hauled from the forest. A number of persons 
came out to see the trees, and this induced Evans to clear away the brush and 
excavate the most accessible of the trees, doing a little more every year ; he 
then enclosed the land, and charges a small fee, as guide, to repay him for 
his labor. The trees lie in two tiers, forming a parallelogram, a mile in extent, 
from east to west, and about a quater of a mile across, from north to south, — 
the roots are towards the north and tops to the south. They lie at an angle of 
from five to thirty-five degrees ; the butt end of the trees are always lowest. 
They are buried in volcanic ashes or tufa, and the ground around them fairly 
sparkles with particles of .eilica. The largest tree excavated is eleven feet in 
diameter at the root, and is sixty-eight feet long. It is broken in several places. 
The forest has been visited by about ten thousand persons in the past six years, 
and all who have been there express themselves as well repaid for their time 
and trouble. The forest can be reached and examined thoroughly in a day 
from Santa Rosa by J. P. Clark's Calistoga stage-line. Those visiting the 
Geysers by the Cloverdale route will be taken to the forest by Foss' line of 
stages from the Geysers to Calistoga. For the first six years the owner put in 
all his time in improving the grounds, and it is admitted to be, in the language 
of Mr. Evans, " the prettiest place in the hills of California." 


The first State superintendent of public schools, John G. Marvin, reported 
to the legislature of 1852 the statistics he had been able to gather in the year 
1851. Following is his report of Sonoma county in full : Number of children, 
250. There are five schools in this county : one at Sonoma, one at Santa Rosa, 
one at Analy, one at Bodega, and another at San Miguel Ranch (Mark West). 
The three former are English, the latter is Spanish. They are supported by 
contributions and tuition money. 

In 1854 Dr. B. B. Bonham, first county superintendent of schools, reports 

1,253 children between the ages of 4 and 18; 23 schools; 31 teachers, and 8 

bcliool districts. 

In 1859 the total number of children is reported at 5,138; number of 

teachers, 70 ; number of schools, 43. There are now in the county 138 schools 

and a school-population of 7,383. Of this population, 3,689 are boys, and 3,611 


are girls. The schools are comprised within their grades; first, second and 
third — there being 50 of the first ; 58 of the second, and 30 of the third. The 
total enrolment of pupils at the school is 6,217. 

Between eighty-five and ninety thousand dollars are annually received from 
State and county taxes for school purposes. Of this amount between seventy- 
five and eighty thousand dollar.-) are annually expended in the payment of 
teachers. About $3,000 Ls annually invested in school libraries. The average 
monthly wages paid male teachers is $83.00 ; paid female teachers, $G4.00. 

Ninety-one of the schools are maintained more than six, and less than eight 
months ; 47 are maintained eight months and over. The most of the school- 
houses are substantial, comfortable structures, well supplied with school 
furniture, apparatus and libraries. Tlie value of the school-houses and lot.s is 
estimated at $150,000 ; school libraries, $12,000; apparatus, $4,000. The most 
important schools are those of Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Sonoma and 
Cloverdale. The cities of Santa Rosa and Petaluma, in addition to a most 
efficient grammar school, have each an excellent high school. 

Number of children between five and seventeen, white-... 7.300 

" " " " " " " negro.... 10 

" '• " " " " " Indian... 73 

" " white children under five 3,076 

" " children who have attended public school 

during the school year 5,407 

Number attending private schools 413 

Number who have not attended any school 1,563 

Whole number of school districts 95 

" " " schools 138 . 

" amount paid teachers during the year $75,320.00 

" " " for rents, repairs and contingents 8,400.00 

" " " " libraries 2,185.35 

« " " apparatus 408.06 

Amount paid for buildings and school furniture 7,137.18 

Total receipts from State and county fund 84,676.90 

" " " district taxes 5,269.24 

" " during the year, including balance on hand 

at beginning of the year 115,490.20 

Total disbursements 93,452 00 

Salary of Buperinlendent, inclusiveof traveling expenses, $1,600 per annum. 


There is, perhaps, no county in the State of California that can boast of as 
many houses of worship as Sonoma, unless it be San Francisco. There are in 
all forty-three, and these are well distributed over the county. 

The first Protestant church was built in the town of Sonoma by the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church South, in the year 1852, under the late Rev. E. B. 


Lockley. It was a small Gothic church of great beauty. It cost about three 
thousand dollars, and it was burned a few years ago. 

The next year another was built by the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the 
same town, that is still standing. About the same time Rev. M. Riley, of the 
Baptist church, built a house of worship at the site of the old town of Franklin, 
near Santa Rosa. This house was regarded as a Union church for the Hard- 
shells and the Missionary Baptists. It was subsequently moved to Santa Rosa, 
and used by the Baptists until they erected their present house, when it was 
converted into a double tenement-house and as such it now stands. 

Of the forty-live churches now standing the Methodist Episcopal Church 
owns twelve; the Catholic, six; the Methodist Episcopal Church South six* 
the Presbyterian, four; the Baptist, three; the Congregationalists, three; the 
Christian (Campbelite), three; the Adventist, three; the Protestant Episcopal 
two; the Cumberland Presbyterian, one; the colored people, one; and one is 
owned jointly by the Methodist Episcopal Church South, the Baptist and 
Christians. They are distributed as follows ; Santa Rosa has eight ; Petaluraa 
seven ; Healdsburg, seven ; Sonoma, three ; Bodega Corners, three ; Bloom- 
field, three; Cloverdale, two; Sebastopol, two; Green Valley, one; Pleasant 
Hill, one; Valley Ford, one; Two Rocks, one; Howard's Station, one; Ben- 
nett Valley, one; Guerneville, one; Fulton Station, one; Macedonia one* 
Windsor, one. 

We do not give the assessed value of the church property because the figures 
on the assessors' books are much below the real value. The inhabitants gener- 
ally are a moral, law-abiding people, who contribute liberally to the support of 
the churches in their midst. 

Long be;ore any of the churches here mentioned were built or thought of 
the chime of bells in the Greek chapel at Ross floated out over the waters of 
the Pacific. 


The public buildings of Sonoma county are not worthy of much, if any 
notice. The court house was built in 1859, and answers the purpose for which 
it was intended, and that is all that can be said of it. 

The recorder's office is pronounced a very creditable building ; it stands by 
itself, and was erected in 1871-2, aud is a neat, substantial, if not elegant struc- 
ture. It is entirely fire-proof, and the valuable records of the county within 
its walls are free from danger. 

The county possesses two institutions of which the people may justly feel a 
pride ; we refer to the hospital and county farm. Both of the institutions are 
well managed, and in the hospital all the comforts which could be asked are 
furnished to the indigent sick of the county. The hospital and county farm 
are directly under the control of Dr. J. B. Gordon. William Strom a most 
excellent person for the special duties required, is steward of the hospital and 
the manager of the county farm is Robinson Head. 

The number of persons admitted to the hospital during the year was 177 • 
discharged cured^ 152, died 20, remaining January 1st, 1877, 31 ; county farm 
whole number January, 1876, 13; admitted during the year 12, discharged 13- 
number remaining January Slst, 1877, 12. 




The San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad, which runs through the 
great central valleys of Sonoma, ha.s been so fully described in the main body 
of this sketch, that any special mention is not necessary. The road was com- 
menced in 1869, and wa.s completed to its present terminus at Cloverdale in 
1872, and from that time to the present the progress of the county has been 
upward and onward. The road is one of the most complete in the State in all 
its appointments, and reflects credit on its builder and upon its management. 

Colonel Peter Donahue is president of the company. He was the builder of 
the road, his attention having first been called to the work by the Hon. A. P. 
Overton, a prominent citizen, now of Santa Rosa. With that rare business 
tact for which Colonel Donahue is distinguished, he saw that a necessity ex- 
isted for the road, and enlisting in the enterprise, he pushed it to success with 
the indomitable determination which is a well-known characteristic of* the 
man. To that enterprise, which has placed Colonel Donahue in the foremost 
rank of the business men of the great metropolis of the Pacific coast, we owe 
our excellent facilities for communication with San Francisco. When others 
faltered or drew back, he pressed to the front. His business sagacity and capital 
proved the "open sesame" which smoothed and made straight our highway 
to the sea, over which the varied products of Sonoma county are transported 
(a rich tribute) to his adopted city, San Francisco. 

The road is now extending south of its first terminus, Donahue, which will 
greatly shorten the time to Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Litton, and 
Skaggs' Springs, Cloverdale and the Geyser springs. When that is done, one 
may go from San Francisco to the northern limits of Sonoma county in not 
more than three hours, through the most fertile and beautiful portion of the 
great State of California. 

Colonel A. A. Bean, the manager of the road, is an accomplished gentleman 
and superintendent, and to him is largely due the very great satisfaction and 
success which marked the progress and management of the San Francisco and 
North Pacific Railroad. 


The North Pacific Coast Railroad extends from a point in Marin county, op- 
posite San Francisco, through that county into Sonoma, and terminates at Dun- 
can's Mill, on Russian river. Milton S. Latham is president of the company, 
W. F. Russell is secretary and general agent, John W. Doherty is general man- 
ager, W. B. Price is auditor and general passenger agent, C. B. Mansfield is 
assistant tjuperintendent, and J. W. Fillmore train despatcher. 

The road was first opened in January, 1875. Freight cars cross the bay of 
San Francisco on barges to the opposite shore at Saucelito, the land terminus 
of the road, a distance of six miles ; or, reversing the order, they carry the 
freight-laden cars from the terminus to the city. Each barge has a capacity 
for twelve loaded cars, making a very great saving in transporting freight. 

The road has a second terminus on the bay of San Francisco, at San Quen- 
tin, by a branch road, which leaves the main line two miles north of the town 
of San Rafael. The Saucelito terminus is used for freight business, while the 


San Quentin terminus is used principally for the passenger business. This 
latter terminus is connected with San Francisco, a distance of about nine 
miles, by two elegant ferry boats, built in New York exclusively for this line 
and for travel between the city of San Francisco and San Rafael. 

The road is a narrow-gauge, being three feet between the rails ; leaving San 
Rafael, the road runs through Marin county, passing Ross valley, by Fairfax 
and Pacheco, to the summit, known as White Hill, at ihe head of Rosa vallev. 
The grade in this ascent is one hundred and twenty-one feet to the mile and 
so doubles back upon itself that in one instance the tracks are not one hun- 
dred yards apart after traversing a distance of three-fourths of a mile. 

At the summit the road passes through a tunnel thirteen hundred feet Ion" 
and descends into the valley of San Geromino creek to Nicasio, and from there 
to Tomales. The route to this point is through a splendid dairy country, and 
for all those rare beauties of scenery peculiar to California, it can nowhere be 

For a year and a half the northern terminus of the road was at Tomales 
fifty-four miles from Saucelito. The entrance to Sonoma county was barred 
as it were, by a wall of solid rock, through which it was necessary to cut a 
tunnel seventeen hundred feet in length. The men who formed this company 
were not to be deterred by obstacles even as formidable as this rocky barrier • 
they pierced it, and soon the hills which enclosed the fertile valleys of south- 
western Sonoma echoed the steam-whistle of the approaching locomotive. 

The road was finished to its destined terminus on Russian river in the winter 
of 1876-7. Just before reaching Valley Ford (we refer the reader to the map) 
the road crosses the Estero Americano, and enters Sonoma county, passing 
Valley Ford, a pretty village : but just why its church should have been built 
across the line in Marin county, is beyond our ken. Steaming north, we pass 
Bodega Corners depot, and next Freestone, of which a description appears 
elsewhere. Just beyond Freestone the road enters the redwood timber belt 
ascends Salmon creek by a steep grade to Howard's station ; crossing there 
the summit of the divide between the waters which fall, on the.south into Bo- 
dega bay, and on the north into Russian river. Just before reaching Howard's 
the road passe i over one of the highest bridges west of the Mississippi river. 
The bridge is one hundred and thirty-seven feet high. At Howard's we have 
fairly entered the redwood timber fields, and begin to realize the ultimate aims 
of the projectors of this enterprise, and the business it is destined to develop. 
Up to the fall of 1876 there were only three small saw-mills on or near the 
line of the road, and the great expense of hauling made them available only 
for the local trade. It has been but nine months since the road was completed 
and there are now on the line of the road six large saw-mills, sending to mar- 
ket daily one hundred and seventy-five thousand feet of lumber, besides great 
quantities of shingles, lathes, pickets, cord-wood, tan-bark and charcoal. 

Streeten's mill is owned by Latliam & Streeten ; has a capacity of fifteen 
thousand feet per day ; has about one thousand acres of land; employs forty 
men. The Russian River Land and Lumber Company is owned by Governor 
Milton S. Latham, the largest owner of timber-land in this section, having ten 
thousand acres in one body. From Streeten's mill to Duncan's, with the ex- 


ception of two miles, the road passes through its land. It owns all the timber- 
land on the old Bodega Eancho lliat lies in Ocean township. Its two mills — 
the Tyrone mill and the Moscow mill (at Moscow), — have each a capacity of 
forty thousand feel per day. Each mill employs from eighty to ninety men, 
and in the logging for both mills about sixty cattle are emi)loyed. The logs 
are hauled to the mill by small locomotives, on tramways laid with railroad 
iron. The lumber, as at all the six saw-mills, is loaded directly on the cars, 
and liot rehandled until delivered at the wharf in San Francisco. The saving 
of labor expense and breakage, from this fact alone, will at once be appreciated 
by any one familiar with the lumber business. 

The next mill below is one of the mills of the Madrona Land and Lumber 
Company, near the intersection of Howard creek with Russian river. This 
company has about one thousand acres of land, and the mill has a capacity of 
twenty thousand feet per day, employing tifiy men. A branch tract runs 
three-fourths of a mile up the Russian river to another mill of this company, 
having a capacity of twenty-five thou.sand feet per day, and employing sixty 

Following down the Russian river we pass the Moscow mill (already men- 
tioned), and cross the river on the four-hundred-foot bridge to Duncan's mill. 
Mr. A. Duncan, the senior proprietor, is the oldest lumberman on this river. 
He owns four thousand acres of land, principally on Austin creek, which emp- 
ties into Russian river opposite Moscow. Duncan's mill has a capacity of 
thirty-five thousand feet per day, and employs seventy-five men. 

It is estimated that the lands owned by these parties will produce six hun- 
dred million feet of lumber. 

Immediately upon the completion of the road, the southern terminus of the 
northern coast stages for Stewart's Point, Gualala, Mendocino City, Point 
Arena, and Navarra Ridge, was changed to Duncan's Mill, making a great sav- 
ino- in time for all the northwest coast. ■ 

A description of this road would be incomplete without referring to the 
great inducements it oflfers to pleasure seekers and sportsmen. It is not a suf- 
ficiently strong assertion to say that no route of eighty miles out of San Fran- 
cisco oflfers such a variety of beautiful scenery. Moscow and Duncan's Mill, 
(opposite on the river,) are two charming spots, and as picturesque as any in 
the State. The ocean winds, tempered by the distance of seven miles up the 
Russian river, prevail all through the summer. Here are to be found the 
finest fishing and shooting. Austin creek is one of the notable trout streams 
in the State ; quail abound ; deer are still in the forests and glades. Salmon 
can be caught in large numbers in the river. One can leave San Francisco 
early in the morning, and at one o'clock in the afternoon arrive at Moscow for 
dinner — spend a day, and, leaving the next morning, be back in San Francisco 
at noon. The largest hotel to be found in the county, (120 by 70 feet, two sto- 
ries), is kept by .John Julian, one of the most accomplished and popular land- 
lords in California. He possesses that rare faculty of making everybody feel 
as though he was the most favored of all the numerous guests ; consequently 
everybody is especially well pleased, and contented with himself and his host. 


If you make the trip over the narrow-gauge, don't stop short of Julian's, what- 
ever else you may do. 

The railroad company and the hotels do everything to encourage pleasure 
travel, and we predict for this locality the preference over any other within as 
easy reach of San Francisco. 

To those who knew the canon of Howard's creek and the valley of Eussian 
river only a year ago, the change in that time will appear marvelous ; the 
mills, with their little villages around them ; the rapidly -growing towns of 
Moscow and Duncan's Mill, and the influx of population can hardly be ap- 
preciated by a single visit, — much less can they be described within the scope 
of a sketch so brief as this. 


Sonoma county covers a large area of territory. In the mountains, a number 
of large streams rise, flow across the plains, or through the valleys, to tide- water 
emptying either into the Pacific ocean or into the bay of San Pablo. At least 
three estuaries lead inland, two of them forming, at high tide, navigable 
streams. One of the inland streams (Eussian river) has its source in the hicrh 
mountains of Mendocino, more than one hundred miles from its mouth, drain- 
ing an immense territory. In winter, during the wet season, this is a very bold 
stream. With so large a scope of country, traversed by so many streams, the 
matter of building roads and bridges was, from the organization of the county 
of great importance and great expense. With the exception of the subsidy 
voted by the people to the San Francisco and North Pacific Eailroad, and twenty 
thousand dollars bonds for a recorder's office, the whole indebtedness of the 
county comes from the building of road-^ and highways. We now propose to 
give the reader an idea of the approximate cost of the public roads, number 
of miles of roads, number of bridges, and their cost by townships. 

Analy township— miles of road, 111; bridges, 131; cost of bridges, $27,000 ; 
culverts, 275 ; cost, $2,439. 

Bodega township — miles of road, 46; bridges, 50; cost, $5,091. 

Cloverdale township— miles of road, 35; bridges, 11 ; cost, $6,125; culverts 
37 ; cost, $305. 

Knight's Valley township — miles of road, 22; bridge", 15; cost, $745; cul- 
verts, 13 ; cost, $78. 

Mendocino township — miles of road, 81 ; in this township Eussian river is 
bridged twice; cost of bridges, $31,450; cost of culverts, $1,000. 

Petaluma township— miles of road, 80; bridges, 82; cost, $8,652; culverts, 
312; cost, $2,218. 

Eussian Eiver township— miles of road, 64 ; bridges, 47; cost, $3,212. There 
are, also, on the line of this township four bridges across Mark West creek 
which cost $6,700 ; culverts, 75 ; cost, $750. 

Eedwood township— miles of road, 27; bridges, 30; cost, $1,748; culverts 
19 ; cost, $599. 

Sonoma township— miles of road, 80; bridges, 2; cost, $9,900; culverts and 
small bridges, 208 ; cost, $4,028. 


Ocean township — miles of road, 30 ; bridges, 14 ; cost, $4,050 ; culverts, 60 ; 
cost, $600. 

Salt Point township — miles of road, 44; bridges, 43; cost, $5,700 ; culverts, 
72; cost, $575. 

Vallejo township— miles of road, 55 ; bridges?, 10 ; cost, $3,000; culverts, 30 ; 
cost, $200. 

AVashington township — miles of road, 11; bridges, 8 ; cost, •$•540; culverts, 
14; cost, $104. 

Santa Kosa township— miles of road, 146; bridges, 115; cost, $32 850; cul- 
verts, 224; cost, $4,^500. 

Recapitulation: Total number of miles of road, 832; number of bridges, 
629; cost of bridges, $130,940; culverts, 1,524; cost, $18,422. Total cost of 
all bridges and culverts in the county, $149,783. 

Many of these bridges have been repeatedly washed away, and were repaired 
at a cost as great, or greater, than their present value; add to that the expense 
of grading, iilling up, and making the road-bed for nearly two hundred miles, 
and some idea of the outlay on our highways may be formed. 

The roads each year improve; road-biiihling goes constantly on, and will 
not be discontinued until every portion of the country is easily accessible. 

There are but two toll-roads in the county, and both are through its moun- 
tainous section<^, and lead to the Gey.sers. These roads are not traveled to any 
extent except by those whose object is recreation, curiosity, or pleasure, and, as 
they are generally persons who can afford to pay, the burden of keeping the 
road to the Geysers in repair is very properly shifted to their shoulders. 



The seventh judicial district, whicli included the county of Sonoma, was 
organized in 18'50. The first district judge was Robert Hopkins; hewa'^ elected 
at the first session of the legislature, which convened in San Jose in 1850. 
.Tudge Hopkins held (he first term of the court in the town of Sonoma, on the 
second day of September, 18-50. He held the oflSce of district judge until 
1853, when he was succeeded by E. W. McKinstry, now one of tiie supreme 
judges of the State. 

.ludge McKinstry served until 1862. After the November term of ihat year 
he resigned, and James B Southard was appointed in his stead by Governor 
Stanford, for the unexpired term. Judge Southard served until the February 
term, 1870, when he was superceded by Judge W. C. Wallace, wlio had been 
elected the previous year. Judee Wallace served one full term and was re- 
elected in 1875, but the legislature of the winter of 1875-6 created the twenty- 
second district out of the counties of Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino. Judge 
Wallace still presides in the seventh district, and .Judge .Jackson Temi)le was 
appointed by Governor Irwin the first judge in the new district, and helil the 
first term of his court in Sonoma county on the 2d day of May, 1876. 



The Court of Sessions first met in the town of Sonoma in 1850. H. A. Green 
was county judge, and Charles Hudspeth and Peter Campbell were chosen 
associate justices. This court, beside their judicial powers, had control of the 
county business; they provided buildings for public purposes, and first divided 
the county into townships. Some time in 1851, Judge Green died, and Martin 
E. Cooke was appointed in his place. Mr. Cooke declined to serve, and AV. 
O. King was appointed, and held one term of the court. The same fall the 
Hon. C. P. Wilkins was elected by the people as county judge. In 1852 Peter 
Campbell and J. M. Terrill were elected associate justices. 

October 3d of the same year, Phil. R. Thompson and A. C. Godwin were 
elected in place of the first named persons, whose terms expired. 

In 1854 Judge Wilkins resigned, and Phil. R. Thompson was appointed 
in his place; .J. B. Boggs and .1. B. Pettus were elected associate justices. 

In 1854 Frank W. Shattuck was elected county judge, he resigned in 1855, 
and John E. McNair was appointed in his place ; Phil. R. Thompson and J. 
E. Prewett were associate justices. 

In the fall of 1855, William Churchman was elected county judge, and .James 
A. Reynolds and S. T. Coulter were chosen as associate justices. 


The first board of Supervisors met in the town of Sonoma on the 5th of 
July, 1852. D. O. Shattuck, Sr., was elected president, James Singley, W. 
A. Hereford, L. P. Hanson were the other members. Hanson appears on 
the record at but one meeting, and on the 4th of October, W. O. King suc- 
ceeded him. 

1853-4, H. G. Heald, James Singley, S. L. Fowler and Alexander Copeland 
were elected. At first meeting of the new board, James Singley was chosen 

1854-5, H. G. Heald, president, succeeded, December 28, by Robert Smith 
R. Harrison, S. L. Fowler and Alexander Copeland. 

1855-6, Donald McDonald, president, Stephen Akers and William T. Allen, 

1856-7, James Prewitt, president, B. B. Berry and C. .1. Robinson. 

1857-8, W. B. Hagans, president, R. Smith and Josiah Morin. In January, 
1858, at a special election, .Joseph Knowles wa? elected in place of R. Smith. 

1858-9, Alex. Copeland, president of the board, .1. Morin and ,J. Estis. 
January 26, 1859, E. Swift was elected vice Copeland, and Josiah Morin was 
chosen President. 

1859-60, Josiah Morin, president, W. McP. Hill and H. M. Willson. 

1860-61, H. M. Willson, president, .Josiah Morin and W. McP. Hill. 

1861-2, William McP. Hill, president, N, Fike, Josiah Morin. 

1862-3, Josiah Morin, president, N. Fike, T. F. Baylis. 

1863-4, N. Fike, president, T. F. B.iylis and A. S. Patterson. 


1864-5, T. F. Baylls, president, J. K. Smith and A. B. Aiill. 

1865-6, J. K. Smith, president, A. B. Aull and Zadock Jackson. March 5, 
1865, Zadock Jackson was superceded by G. W. Frick. 

1866-7, J. K. Smith, president, A. B. Aull and G. W. Frick. 

1867-8, G. W. Frick, president, J. K. Smith and John D. Grant. 

1868-9, J. K. Smith, pre.sident, J. D. Grant and B. B. Mnnday. 

1869-70, J. D. Grant, president, J. 11. Griggs and J. M. Palmer. 

1870-71, J. D. Grant, president, J. II. Griggs and J. M. Palmer. 

1871-2, J. H. Griggs, president, J. M. Palmer and D. D. Phillips. 

1872-3, J. M. Palmer, president, D. D. Phillips, G. A. Tupper. 

1873-4, J. M. Palmer, president, G. A. Tupper, D. D. Phillips, W. K. Rogers, 
Thomas Beacom. 

1874-5, G. A. Tupper, president, W. K. Rogers, Thomas Beacom, Gus. 
Warner, J. D. Hassett. 

1875-6, W. K. Rogers, president, Thomas Heacom, J. D. Hassett, Gus. War- 
ner, H. Weatherington. 

1876-7, J. D. Hassett, president, W. K. Rogen-^, H. Weatherington, Gus. 
Warner, R. W. Acker. 


Total value of assessable property for the year 1876-7, after 

equalization $15,242,248 00 

State and county tax for 1876-7, $1.05 per $100, distributed as follows : 
State tax 73.^ cents, of which 23 4-10 is for school purposes. 

County pays to State for taxes : $112,330 52 

County tax 91 5-10 cents, distributed to funds as follows: General fund, 19 
cents; indigent fund, 5 cents; school fund, 14i cents; road fund, 27 cents; 
railroad fund, 13 cents; road fund tax, 4 cents; bridge-fund tax, 9 cents. 

Total revenue from taxes : 

State apportionment $112,330 52 

Countv apportionment 139,466 59 

>;251,797 09 


The county indebtedness is as follows : 

Railroad bonds bearing 8 per cent., payable in twenty years, interest 

payable January 1 $263,000 

Hall of Record bonds, 7 per cent., twenty years, interest payable 

semi-annually 20.000 

Road bonds, 8 per cent., ten years, interest annually March 1 91 800 

Total indebtedness $374 800 

Value of county buildings and property 200,000 






Value of 



Value of 





Town Lots 

Value of 














































































Knight's Vary 











Russian River. 
Salt Point 


Sonoma ."..... 






Santa Rosa 


Washington .... 







$7,.53 1,277 





San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad, including track. 
Mining claims and improvements, possessory claims, etc.... 


Total value of all property $15,315,033 


The assessor classifies the lands of Sonoma county into four grades. The 
first grade, mountain land, is least valuable ; the second grade is hillside land ; 
the third grade is valley land ; the fourth grade is bottom land, which is the 
richest and most valuable. 

Number of acres in first grade 226,981 

Number of acres in second grade 100,341 

Number of acre^ in third grade , 165,929 

Number of acres in fourth grade 234,510 

Total 727,761 


Firstgrade $1 to $5 

Second grade 5 to 10 

Third grade 10 to 20 

Fourth grade 20 to over 


First grade $2 50 

Second grade 7 50 

Third grade 15 00 

Fourth grade 30 00 


First grade $552,210 

Second grade 791,099 

Third grade 2,361,391 

Fourth grade 3,826,577 

Total $7,531,277 




Real estate other than city or town lots §7,531,277 

Improvements on Rame 1,890,517 

City and town lots 1,280 562 

Improvements on same 1,370,686 

Real estate and improvements $12,073,042 


Real eata'e and improvements $12,073,042 

Personal property 2,702,758 

Improvements on mining claims, etc 479,283 

Total vahie of all property $15,315,033 


The early history of the city of Sonoma is the history of the county. It is 
inseparably connected with the stirring events which led to the occupation of 
this State by the Americans. For a long time it was a place of the first impor- 
u tance. Here General Percifer Smith made his headquarters. Captain, after- 

wards General, Lyon, Lieutenant, afterwards General Sioneman, General Leon- 
ard, General Hooker, and the inimitable Lieutenant Derby, were all former 
residents of Sonoma. Its society was polished and intellectual, and could the 
unwritten records of the old town be brought to light, it would in itself make 
up a volume of extraordinary interest. 

Though surrounded by an intelligent and wealthy population, the town has 
not flourished, as has been elsewhere stated in this sketch. It has, however, 
good schools, a bank, several large wine manufactories, four large stores — two 
of which are kept respectively by the pioneers, Pauii Brothers and J. Poppe. 
The old mission church still stands, and there are besides several other churches. 
It has good hotels, an I. O. O. F. and Masonic lodge. General M. G. Vallejo, 
the distinguished ex-commandant general of California under the preceding 
regime, resides at his elegant home, Lachryma Montis, on the edge of the 
town. All honor to the gallant general, who was at the cradling of Sonoma 
in 1835. All honor to the pioneers who raised the Bear flag on the plaza of 
Sonoma, and all honor to the ever-memorable old town which was the scene of 
the first in the series of events which led to the acquisition by the United 
States of the fairest of the sisterhood of Stales, with its rich dower of valley 
land yielding one hundred fold, and uplands eager for the tap of the ab- 
sorbing vine, and mountains rich in gold as the hills of Ophir. 

TAe Sonoma Bulletin. — Sonoma county made a clever start in its newspaper 
history. The Sonoma Bulletin was establinhed in the town of Sonoma in 1850 
by A. J. Cox. It was a very lively sheet for several years, and would have 
done credit to a much later period in the history of the State. Contributions 
from the inimitable Derby and other army officers stationed at Sonoma, were 
not infrequent in its columns. 


The paper was continued at intervals up to 1855, when the editor, in a char- 
acteristic notice in the Petaluma Journal of September 15, 1855, announces 
its final demise as follows: "Hon. Q. Smikes wishes to return his thanks to 
the editorial fraternity for the kind notices of his debut, and to the public 
generally (the rest of mankind included) for their liberal patronage, and to 
announce that the Blunderbuss has dried up." Of Mr. Cox's newspaper 
experience more will be said hereafter. 


This, as its name implies, is the landing-place or embarcadero on Sonoma 
creek, at the head of navigation. Here supplies for the town and valley are 
received! In former times, when it was thought that Sonoma might become a 
town of iraportKnce, it was cliristened St. Louis, but it never reached the im- 
portance anticipated by its sponsors, and is, to-day, only the landing and ship- 
ping point for the town and valley of Sonoma, by a steamer which pliea 
regularly between the landing and San Francisco. 


This is a post-office midway between Santa Rosa and the town of Sonoma ; 
Captain Justi is postmaster. It is only a mail station, but is surrounded by 
some of the most experienced vine-growers in the county, — among them Col- 
onel C.V. Stuart, whose handsome residence is the seat of a liberal hospitality. 
His vineyard cannot be surpassed for careful culture and its varieties of 
foreign and domestic vines. Here there is also the residence of the Hon. J. 
B. Warfield, one of the most successful vineculturalists of Sonoma. There 
are many other large vineyard proprietors in this neighborhood, whose names 
we have not the space to mention., A radius of six miles, with Glen Ellen for 
a center, would, in the opinion of many, include the finest grape-growing sec- 
tion in the State of California. 


This place is situated in Knight's valley, at the foot of St. Helena mountain. 
The Knight's Valley House is kept by E. Ewing, as a place of summer resort. 
It is not surpassed for beauty of scenery, salubrity of climate, and solid com- 
forts, by any place of the kind in this State. 

The Steele Brothers are the owners of the Knight's Valley ranch, which 
includes about nevpn thou->and acres, upon which the Knight's Valley House 
stands. Next, adjoining them, is the fine estate of Calvin Holmes, a portion 
of the original Rancho de Mallacoraes, which formerly included the whole of 
Knight's valley. The fine farm of George Hood, Esq., of Santa Rosa, lies 
near Kellogg, and was also formerly a portion of the Knight's Valley tract. 


This is a station between Kellogg and Calistoga, named after, and owned by 
Clark Foss, the driver of the stage to the geysers. It is a hostelrie, and is fur- 
nished with every convenience and elegance which the most fastidious could 


ask. There is a post-office here, and it is near the line dividing Napa and 
Sonoma counties, in what is known, and marked on the maps, aa Knight's val- 


This place is located on Petaluma creek, about eight miles below the town 
of Petaluma. It is the present terminus of the San Francisco and North 
Paci6c Railroad ; the cars at this point connect with the swift and elegant 
steamer James M. Donahue for San Francisco. From Donohue to San Fran- 
ci.sco, across the bay, the distance is twenty-five miles, — the steamer makes it 
in an hour and a-half. The town is called after Colonel James M. Donahue, 
the enterprising builder and principal owner in the Here the 
machine-shops of the company are located. The place has no importance 
other than is derived from the fact that the transfer of passengers and freight 
from cars to steamer, or visa versa, is here made. 

Within this year the railroad will be extended to a point on the west side of 
the bay, within half an hour's ferriage of San Francisco. In that event it is 
more than probable the cars will cross Petaluma creek over a draw-bridge, at 
or near the town of Donahue. There is a hotel, post-office, &c , at this place, 
and it is surrounded by rich farming and dairy country. The fine farm of J. 
K. Rose, — for many years president of the Sonoma and Marin Agricultural 
Society, and a pioneer breeder of thorough-bred Devonshire cattle, is situa- 
ted a few miles below Donahue. 


This place is situated on Petaluma creek, a short distance above Donahue. 
Prior to the railroad era this was a landing-place, where the pas^sengers for the 
valley of Sonoma were transferred to a regular stage-line for that pbint. The 
stage still runs to Lakeville, connecting with the regular morning and evening 
trains. From Petaluma creek at Lakeville to Sonoma valley, the distance is 
about seven miles over rolling hills. The town of Lakeville has no impor- 
tance except such as is given it as a point of transfer for freight and passen- 
gers from the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad trains for Sonoma. 
The road from Lakeville over the mountain, between Petaluma and Sonoma 
creeks, passes the former Lake Tolay, — of which Padre Altimira, in his mis- 
sion-founding expedition in 1823, said : " We found on said hillock, a little 
further on, the large lake of ToZay, — so-called after the chief of the Indian:", 
who in former times settled there. Its width at some parts is, with little 
difference, one hundred and fifty varas,* — at others two hundred varas, and at 
one point one-fourth of a league, which is also its length." This lake, from 
which Lakeville was named, was drained by its present owner (a utilitarian), 
and is now a potato patch. 


We have heard it asstrted that the name Petaluma came from the Indian 
vernacular, meaning " duck ponds," and also that it was a compound word, 

* A vara is thirty-three inches and one-third of an inch. 


signifying ''little hills." There would have been a local fitness in the last 
name, and by a change of one or two letters only in Petaluma, we have words 
meaning little hills. The close observer cannot have failed to notice the low 
mounds in many parts of the valley, of uniform shape and size. These hil- 
locks were much more noticeable before the occupation and cultivation of ihe 
soil than they are now, and when the first adventurers found their way into 
the beautiful valley the mounds must have formed a peculiar and marked 
feature of the landscape — hence the name, valley of the "little hills." By a 
change of letters the words lost their identity, but not the sound of the original. 
These peculiar mounds may be seen in their natural shape and position in 
great numbers on the Cotate plain, the surface not having been disturbed by 
cultivation. We do not assert that they are of artificial origin, or that the name 
of the valley was derived from them, but only that it is a plausible theory for 
the derivation of the name. The solution of the question we leave to the 
research of the philologist or the curiosity of the antiquarian. 

The city of Petaluma is situated on Petaluma creek, at the head of naviga- 
tion. It is thirty-seven miles northwest of San Francisco, with which it is 
connected by sailing vessels, by steamer, and by the San Francisco and North 
Pacific Railroad. Trains pass through the town every day, going south, con- 
necting at Donahue with the steamer for San Francisco. Two trains also pass 
the city every day, going north to the terminus of the road, at Cloverdale. The 
time between Petaluma and San Francisco is about two hours, which will be 
reduced to one hour and a half during this year, by extending the railroad 
and shortening the trip across the bay. 

Petaluma creek is an estuary or arm of the bay, with water suflicient at high 
tide to float vessels of considerable size at the wharf of the city. A mile and 
a half above the town the plain rises to the level of high water, and both 
marsh and creek terminate. The great Central valley of Sonoma, and the 
Bodega and coast country, lies within easy reach of Petaluma, where its pro- 
duce finds a home market, or may, at the option of the owner, be shipped by 
steamer direct, by sailing vessel or by railroad — thus all danger of a monopoly 
of transportation is barred. 

The town is built on undulating ground ; all the important streets are well 
graded, graveled and curbed, having gutters, sewers and open drains. Many 
of the business houses are imposing structures, with iron fronts in the latest 
style of modern city architecture. There are in and around the town hand- 
some residences, with spacious and highly-cultivated grounds, but even more 
ailractive are the many homes of well-to-do mechanics and laboring men, half 
hidden in flowers, indicating that the people are thifty and prosperous ihrougli 
all gradations of cociety. The hills up n which the town is partly built afibrd 
a view of the opposite plain and range of mountains, including within its far- 
leaching scope the distant crest of St. Helena, and still further beyond, the 
conical and shapely summit of Geyser peak — to the south ^Tard the creek may 
be traced winding through the green marsh, sometimes doubling back upon its 
course, making in a distance of a eight miles a direct progress of but two. 
This tortuous water-course gives a picturesque btauty to the scence in that 
direction — especially, as is often the case, if half a dozen sailing craft, with 


white wings spread, appear in view — in the undulating air they seem to float 
above the level of the luar.-h; following their crooked course, they pass each 
other, lo and fro, or circle around like sea-birds on the wing. 

Petaluina is one of the most healthful towns in the State; it lies within the 
influence of the daily sea-breeze, and bilious or malarious fevers are unknown 

We have glanced hurridly at the city and its surroundings, and propose now 
to give a sketch of its early history and present status, more in detail. 

We have mentioned the trip of Padre Altimira, in June, 1823, from San 
Rafael to Sonoma, on a mission-fonnding expedition. He came upon the west 
side of the creek, passing over or near the site of the present city of Petaluma, 
turned the "point of creeks," as he called it, probably at the two ponds on the 
westerly corner of the farm of F. W. Lougee, and crossed the plain opposite 
the town to the site of the "old Adobe House." This wa,s the first land expe- 
dition of the California padres to the country north of San Rafael. The mis- 
sion of Sonoma was founded in July, 1823, but no settlement was made in 
Petaluma valley. 

After the secularization of the mission property, General ValUjo received a 
grant of all the land lying between Sonoma creek on the east, the waters of 
the bay on the south, and Petaluma creek on the west. That portion of the 
city known as East Petaluma stands on this tract. General Vallejo occupied 
the Petaluma ranch from 1836, and built the first house in the valley. 

The land on the west side of the creek was claimed under a Mexican grant 
by Juan Miranda, who settled there in 1838, and built a small house about two 
miles from the present city of Petaluma. This was the first house or settlement 
on the side of the creek. Over these rich plains, through wild oats that 
ujight be tied over the back of a horse, roamed herds of fat, sleek Spanish cattle 
and manadas of Mustang mares — their right disputed only by bands ofelk 
and antelope, which equaled, if they did not surpass them, in numbers. 

The, first settler, other than those tneniioned or their retainers, was Dr. 
A. F. lleyerman, who, early in 1S50, had a log-cabin on what was after- 
wards called the Rogers place, near Petaluma. Dr. Heyerman, under some 
pretext or other, set up a claim to the tract of land which he then occupied. 

In October, 1850, John Lockwood came up the creek wi h one or two o hers 
in a whale-boat, attracted by reports of the abundance of game. They camped 
under the oaks on the bank of the creek just above the town, on what is now 
known as the Bell place. Lockwood and party hunted for the San Francisco 
market, making regular trips to the city in the Spark, as they called their 
wtialeboat. The next to come were Linus and Wiatt ; Lockwood and Wiatt 
are still residents of Petaluma. Baylis and Flogdell, well known pioneers, 
came a week after Linus and Wiatt, and all camped near the same place, and 
hunted or purchased game, which they took to the San Francisco market. They 
gave Petaluma its first start as a shipping point. A good sized deer or ante- 
lope brought twenty dollars, the hind-quarter of a fat elk forty dollars, quail 
nine dollars a dozen, and ducks from ten to twelve dollars a dozen. Major 
Singley, the present agent of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad 
at Petaluma, was the next arrival. Two small trading posts were started near 
Lockwood camp; one by Baylis & Flogdell, the other by Linus & Wiatt. 


The first house in the city limits proper was a warehouse built by James 
McReynolds, of Analy township, and his partner James Hudspeth, for stor- 
ing potatoes. It stood on the bank of the creek, just below the bridge, at the 
foot of Washington street. The warehouse was filled that fall with potatoes, 
and Mr. Hudspeth cut and baled on the flat above town, one hundred tons of 
hay, which he shipped to Sacramento. These were the first large shipments 
of produce from Sonoma county to San Francisco via Petaluma. Soon after 
this, a man named Keller took up a claim which included the town site, and 
built a house on the creek, above the bridge, where the stone warehouse now 

On the 3d day January, 1852, the town was first surveyed by J. A. Brewster 
for Mr. Keller. The survey commenced at a point on Petaluma creek, between 
Prospect and Oak streets, running thence west to the westerly line of Liberty 
street, near Kent, then southerly along Liberty street to A, then on the north- 
erly line of A and a continuation of that line northeasterly to Petaluma 
creek, including about forty acres. Tom Lock wood and Major Singley car- 
ried the chain for this survey. The first merchants of Petaluma were Kent & 
Smith ; they opened a first-rate country store, in 1852. It stood on the east 
side of Main street, opposite the American Hotel lot, where Ross' photograph 
gallery now stands. The late F. H. Coe bought in the business, and the firm 
changed to Kent, Smith & Coe. The first families who came to the town were 
old man Douglas and the Hathaways. The first hotel was started by Robert 
Douglas and a man named Adams. It was a board shanty, and stood on the 
lot now occupied by the American hotel. The first school was kept by A. B. 
Bowers, and the school-houpe stood on the site of the present brick one. A. A. 
Guerny was probably the first Protestant preacher in this valley. He seems 
to have oflSciated at most of the weddings of that day, to have preached, lec- 
tured or delivered a Fourth of July oration, as the time served — a sort of 
clerical Bohemian, if we may use the expression without disrespect to the cloth. 
We know not where Rev. Mr. Guernsy now is, but we wish him well where- 
ever he may be, for he has left his foot-print on the pioneer history of Sonoma 

The first postmaster in Petaluma county, was W. D. Kent. He was suc- 
ceeded by Dr. Brown, and Dr. Brown by S. N. Terrell. The mail was carried 
once a week, on horse-back, from Benicia via Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Miller & 
Walker's store, near Sebastapol, to Petaluma, and from there to San Rafael, 
— a round-about way of receiving late news from a city but thirty -five miles 

The first justice of the peace was M. G. Lewis. J. Chandler, Judge Jack- 
son Temple and Judge J. B. Southard were the first lawyers in the town. The 
pioneers Zartman & Fritch started business in January, 1852, with James F. 
Reed, as blacksmith. They were told they would not make enough to get nails 
for shoes, but from the start they did a good business. 

The first general excitement in the infant city was caused by an enterprise 
which had for its object the starting of a rival town at a point on the east side 
of the creek, a mile and a-half below in an air line, but a much greater dis- 
tance by water, owing to the many crooks and bends in the creek. Major H. 


P. Hentzleman and Major Lewis got up this scheme. They purchased a tract 
on the east side of ti)e creek of General Vallejo, where there was a good land- 
ing, and laid ofi" a town which they called Petaluma Ciiy. It was known in 
vulgar vernacular as "New Town." Lewis went to San Francisco and sold out 
his interest to Colonel J. B. Huie, on condition that a steamer of certain size 
could get up to the proposed site of the New Town. The steamer Red Jacket, 
afterwards Kate Hayes, came up in November, 1852, under command of 
Captain Van Pelt. The same boat made trips at intervals that fall, and it was 
given out that the New Town was the head of .steamboat navigation. The 
Petaluma boys were not scared at trifles; they went down to New Town one 
night when the boat lay there, and using all their powers of persuasion, induced 
the captain to steam up and see if he could not get up to the original town. 
The venture was a success; this stroke of policy killed New Town; it lan- 
guished for a year or more but finally gave up the ghost, and, as the cars speed 
by, it is hard for the old resident to locate the site of the once rival of the city 
of Petaluma. 

The drst regular steamer was the Sioc, put on by Colonel J. B. Huie to run 
to New Town. Ex-Sherifl' Latapie was captain, and once part-owner of this 
boat. The name was changed to the Reindeer. The E. Corning was the first 
boat that ran regularly to Petaluma. Fare was six dollars to San Francisco, 
and the trip occupied nearly all day — quite a contrast to the present time, when 
the trip to Petaluma is made in two hours, and that will soon be reduced to 
one hour and a-half. The late Capt. Charles M. Baxter took command of the 
Corning in J85G, and, for many years after, ran the elegant steamer Petaluma, 
built by Charles Miniurn, expressly for this route. 

From the beginning of 1853 up to 1855 the town of Petaluma grew rapidly ; 
the great valleys north and south of it settled up with an industrious popu- 
lation, and every acre of land brought under cultivation was a benefit to the 
town, which had now become the general shipping point for the produce of all 
Sonom# and Mendocino counties as far north as the country was occupied. 
With so rich a district to support it, Petaluma soon took rank as one of the 
most flourishing agricultural towns in the State Its capital increased a^ 
rapidly as its commerce extended. It was, at a very early day, and .still con- 
tinues to be, the largest shipping point for dairy products of all the towns in 

The first newspaper, the Petaluma Journal, was issued on the 18th of August, 
1855. The names of several merchants still residing in the town appeared in 
its advertising columns. 

In 1855 and 1856 the growth of the city was very rapid; in the former year 
the vote was 481, and in the latter it had increased to 801. 

In July, 1857, an accurate census was taken by John S. Van Doren, and we 
are enabled to give the population of the town then, included within an area 
of a mile square, commencing at the junction of Keller and D streets. While 
males 802; white females, 502; colored males, 23; colored females, 8; China- 
men, 3. Total, 1,338. 

The town of Petaluma was incorporated at the session of the legislature of 
1857-8, and the first municipal election was held on the 19lh of April, 1858. 


The taxable property of the city for the years named was as follows : 

1858 $496,285 

1867 925,215 

1877 965,451 

The municipal tax this year is eighty cents on each one hundred dollars 
valuation of property. The money raised by the city tax has been in the main 
well and judiciously expended. The excellent condition of the streets and 
the perfect sewerage may be cited in proof of this assertion. More than this 
the city and town-hip have expended .|60,000 in improving the roads and 
highways leading to the surrounding country. No more judicious investment 
could have been made. The approaches to the town from every direction are 
in perfect order winter and summer, and along these main arteries trade flows 
into the city and through all its business channels. The result of this healthy 
circulation is visible in the growth and improvement of the city. Another 
attractive feature of the place is the highly improved small farms by which it 
is surrounded. There are a number of these places on the low foot-hills just 
west of the plain, which may be seen from the cars. The well-tilled orchards 
and vineyards, comfortable barns and neat homesteads afford the best possible 
evidence that not only the city, but the country that surrounds it, is prosperous. 
Much of the hill-land in the neighborhood of Petaluma, once considered val- 
uable only for the wood which grew upoti it, has proven, now that the wood is 
cut, extremely fertile, and commands the highest price when put upon the 
market. There are also many very handsomely improved farms on the plain 
opposite the town, extending back from the creek to the foot-hills on the east, 
and, in fact, to the top of the range, which is rather an elevated plateau than 
a ridge, as it appears in the distance. 



The settlement of the town of Petaluma led to protracted complication and 
costly litigation in the matter of land titlen. There are some curious features 
in this legal controversy, and we give herewith a condensed statement of the 
conflicting glaims and the final issue of all the suits. 

That portion of Petaluma township bounded by the Petaluma creek, the San 
Antonio creek, the Rancho Laguna de San Antonio, and the Kancho Eoblar 
de la Miseria, was formerly known as the Rancho Arroyo de San Antonio. 

Juan Miranda first settled there about the year 1838, with his family, horses 
and cattle, and built a small house, about two miles distant from the present 
city of Petaluma. 

In 1844 he applied for a grant of this land. Jacob P. Leese, then alcalde 
of the district of Sonoma, certified that he was the only occupant, and an order 
was made October 8, 1844, by Governor Micheltorena, that the usual title be 
issued to him. A formal grant of the land to Miranda was drawn up jjursuant 
to this order, and was subsequently found in the archives, but was never exe- 
cuted by the governor in consequence of the political disturbances which ended 
in Micheltorena's overthrow. 


Miranda was the father of many children, and one of his daughters, Fran- 
cisca, married a Mexican named Antonio Ortega, who had no settled habita- 
tion, but lived sometimes with his wife's family, at this rancho, sometimes with 
the priests at the different missions, and for several years in Oregon. On the 
ground of his occasional visits to his father-in-law he set up a claim to being 
the real occupant of the rancho, and succeeded in obtaining from Governor 
Alvarado a decree for the land, purporting to have been made August 10, 1840. 

Thus there were two conflicting claims to the same tract of land. After the 
death of Miranda, at San Rafael, in 1850, his title was sold by order of the 
probate court of Marin county, and was purchased by T. B. Valentine of San 
Francisco. Whether the proceedings at this sale were regular, so as to vest in 
the purchaser a perfect title, is at least doubtful. The title of Ortega was con- 
veyed to Charles White of San Jose. 

After the establishment of the land commission, both of these claims were 
presented to that tribunal for adjudication. Valentine put in some testimony 
which was thought to be rather damaging to the success of the Ortega claim, 
whereupon an agreement was made between the holders of these rival titles, 
providing that the testimony should be suppressed, the Miranda claim with- 
drawn, the Ortega claim pressed for confirmation and the proceeds of the sales 
of the lands covered by it divided between the contracting parties. 

The Miranda title was thus summarily disposed of by the act of its holder. 
To clear away the Ortega title by th^ slow machinery of the law, took several 
years. It was confirmed by the land commission, was twice before the United 
States District Court, — first confirmed, and afterwards rejected ; and twice 
before the United States Supreme Court, where it was finally rejected in 1863. 

The land embraced within the limits of the rancho thus became public 
domain of the United States, and the government surveys were extended over 
it. That portion within the boundaries of the incorporated city of Petaluma 
was ceded to that city by Act of Congress of March 1, 1867, and the occupants 
of all the remainder obtained patents under the pre-emption law. 

Valentine beseiged the doors of Congress for many years to get an act passed 
allowing him to present his title to the courts for confirmation. Such a meas- 
ure would have been a great injustice to the occupants of the land, for although 
the original title was undoubtedly genuine, and would have been confirmed, he 
prevented a confirmation by his voluntary withdrawal of it. lie was finally 
satisfied by receiving from the government an issue of very valuable land-scrip 
for the same number of acres embraced within his grant. 


That part of the city of Petaluma which lies on the east side of the creek 
was held under the Vallejo title to the Petaluma grant. The cloud on the west 
side did not affect it. The tract was originally purchased from General Val- 
lejo by Tom Hopper. On the 27th day of August, 1857, Hopper conveyed to 
W. D. Bliss, John Kalkman, and Stephen C. Haydon, each, one-fourth inter- 
eat in his tract of two hundred and seventy acres. Up to this time there was 
no connection between the east and west side of the creek except over a rick- 


ety bridge, which crossed above the city. The new owners of the Hopper 
tract at once built a draw-bridge across the creek, at the foot of Washington 
street, and surveyed and sub-divided the land into town and villa-lots. Build- 
ing commenced on that side, and it is now an important part of the city. 
The depot of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad is in East Petaluma 
and it grows quite as fast as other portions of the city. The land has been 
raised by the overflow of the creeks which cross Petaluma valley. These 
streams formerly spread out over the plain beyond the town, but were gradu- 
ally confined to a narrow channel, through which this rich tribute from the 
hills was brought across the plain and spread over the lands of East Petaluma 
thereby greatly enhancing their value. East Petaluma was included within the 
limits of the city as already incorporated by an act of the legislature of 1858. 
The streets are well graded and graveled, and at least two principal highways 
lead into the city from that direction. 


Petaluma has always nurtured its system of public schools. Its corps of 
teachers have been the best that could be procured, and its school-buildings 
are a credit as well as an ornament to the place. The high school was first 
opened in July, 1873, Professor C. E. Hutton in charge. Dr. F. H. Rose suc- 
ceeded him. Dr. Eose resigned in 1874, and J. W. McClymonds, the present 
incumbent, was elected. Miss Anna Holbrook is his assistant. The number 
of pupils in this department is about sixty. The high-school building is 
situated on D street ; it was built as a private academy for Professor Lippitt, 
who used it for that purpose until it was purchased by the board of education 
for a high school. The style of architecture is gothic ; it is two stories in 
height, contains four study-rooms, a library-room, an ante-room, and halls. 
The grounds are ornamented with evergreens, flowers, and grass plots. 

M. E. C. Munday is principal of the grammar and primary departments. 
Mrs. J. E. Woodworth has charge of the second grade ; Miss Eliza Robinson 
has charge of the third grade; Miss Marilla Camm has charge of the fourth 
grade; Miss Rosa Haskins of the fifth grade; Miss Emma S Elder of the 
sixth grade; Miss Sallie E. Hall of the .seventh grade; Miss Hattie Fuller of 
the eighth grade. Miss I. E. Anderson has charge of a class taught in the hij<h- 
school building, belonging to the fifth grade of the primary department. On 
the hill, in the northeast part of the city, there is a school of the sixth seventh 
and eighth grades of the primary department, in charge of Miss Clara Eddy. 
In East Petaluma there is a school for the same grades, in charge of Miss 
Helen A. Singley. Miss Annie Camm has charge of the school on D street for 
colored children. The total number of teachers in grammar and primary 
department, thirteen. The grammar school is a large two-story brick building 
located on the corner of B and Fifth streets. It was built in 1859 and since 
then has undergone several changes in its interior arrangements, to accommo- 
date the increasing number of pupils. The building contains eight rooms of 
which four are on the upper, and four on the ground floor. It has a sealing 
capacity for about four hundred pupils. The grounds are enclosed by a high 
board fence, inside of which is a row of silver-leaf maple trees, which add 


much to the appearance of the building and its eurroundings. The salaries of 
the teachers vary from sixty to one hundred and fifty dollars per month. 
The value of school property is as follows : 

High school-building $15,000 

Grammar school-building and lot 30,000 

Outside school-houses and lots, about ■ 8,000 

Total value $53,000 

The number of pupils is from six hundred and eighty to seven hundred and 
twenty, and the cost of maintaining the schools is thirteen thousand dollars per 

The school department has been governed by a board of education since 
1870, composed of five members. The present board is Messrs. James Singley, 
G. W. Kdelman, W. H. Dalton, N. M. Hedges and F. T. Maynard. 

The people of Petaluma respond always to the needs of the public schools, 
and no complaining is heard in regard to any tax to support them. 


Of the religious denominations in Petaluma, the Methodist is the oldest, and 

had the first church-building ; the Rev. S. B. Clifford is the minister in charge. 

The Baptist Church is in charge of Rev. A. Hitchcock. Rev. Geo. A. Allen is 

rector of St. John's Episcopal Church. The Rev. Father Cleary of St. Vincent's 

Church. Rev. C. J. Hutchins has the Congregational Church, and the Rev. 

T. B. Page the Methodist Church South. Some of these congregations have 

handsome church- buildings, which are well filled every Sunday. For each 

church there is a Sunday-school, which is patronized by bright-faced boys and 

girl^s, and here we will say that there is no sweeter melody than that of the 

mingled voices of many children singing praises to Him who, in the words of the 

Psalmist, " covereth the heavens with a cloud, and prepareth rain for the 

earth ; and maketh the grass to grow upon the mountains, and herbs for the 

use of man ; who giveth fodder to the cattle, and feedeth the young ravens 

when they call on him." 


The benevolent societies are well represented in Petaluma. There are two 
Masonic lodges, one of which (Petaluma Lodge, No. 57) was chartered May 
3, 1854. There is also a chapter of Royal Arch Masons, organized in 1858, 
known as Petaluma Chapter, No. 22. Petaluma Lodge, I. O. O. F., No. 30, was 
instituted September 30, 1854. There is also an encampment, of which we 
have not the date of organization. The Turn Verein have a veiy prosperous 
organization. There is also a Hibernian Society, and a Society of Caledonians, 
,ind several temperance organizations. The Mutual Relief -Vssociation of 
Petaluma have been very successful and well managed. The oldest is the 
"Mutual Relief Association;" has a membership of 1,09G. It is a life-insur- 
ance society simplified : upon the death of any member an assessment of three 
dollars is levied on each member of the association, and the aggregate sum is 
paid to the heirs of the deceased member. It has distributed many thousands 


of dollars in claims upon it, and is well managed. Its business has extended 
through Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino counties. L. F. Carpenter is presi- 
dent, and G. K. Codding is secretary. The Sonoma and Marin Benevolent 
Association is of like character and organization. Dr. G. L. Shephard is pres- 
ident, and H. M. Faulkner, secretary. 


The Petaluma Weekly Journal was issued on the 18th day of August, 1855, 
by Thomas L. Thompson. At this time Sonoma county embraced the whole 
of Mendocino, but the population was sparse, and the mail facilities were 
imperfect and irregular. The Journal, however, was a wide-a-wake paper, 
and even at that early day was instrumental in bringing this portion of the 
State prominently into notice. Mr. Thompson disposed of his interest in the 
Journal in March, 1856, to H. L. Weston. Mr. Weston made it a valuable 
local journal, ever alive to the interests of Petaluma and Sonoma county. We 
are indebted to files of the Journal, from 1855 to 1860, for much that is valua- 
ble, culled from its columns. 

In November, 1862, Mr. Weston disposed of a part interest in the Journal 
to T. W. Abraham. That firm continued the publication until February, 
1864, when they sold the paper to McNabb & Co., and it was merged into the 
Aryus, and took the name of the Journal and Argus. Mr. Weston was inter- 
ested in a Nevada paper from March to August, 1864; in the last named 
month he returned to Petaluma, and shortly after repurchased an interest in 
the Journal and Argus, which he still retains. The name of the paper was 
changed to Petaluma Weekly Argus. 

In November, 1859, J. J. Pennebacker issued the first number of the Peta- 
luma Argus. In December, 1860, he disposed of his interest in the paper to 
A. Drouilliard. In July, 1861, J. H. McNabb & Co. bought out the interest 
of A. Drouilliard, and in August, 1864, the Journal and Argus were consoli- 
dated as above stated. The paper is now published by H. L. Weston, N. W. 
Scudder and James H. McNabb, under the firm-name of Weston, Scudder & 
Co. It is an elegantly printed quarto, made up in best style of newspaper 
typographical art. Its managers are thoroughly up in the mechanical, edito- 
rial and local departments of the paper. The Argus has always been a staunch 
advocate of the principles of the Republican party. Though decided, it is fair 
in its treatment of political subjects, and commands the respect of who 
hold opposing views. Mr. D. S. Lane, of the editorial staff; is a careful and 
accurate writer, a close observer, and a natural statistician. He rarely trips in 
his facts, figures, logic or language. 

To Messrs. Woods, McGuire & Edwards is due the credit of starting the 
first daily newspaper in Sonoma county. The Petaluma Daily Creaceni was 
commenced in the summer of 1870 ; Mr. C. B. Woods was editor ; it was pub- 
lished most of the time by A. McGuire. In the spring of 1872 the Orescent 
passed into the hands of H. M. Woods, who discontinued it in the full of that 


year. The Crescent was Democratic in politics, and, in addition to its daily, 
issued a weekly edition. 

In July, 1872, the Pelaluma Argtis commenced the publication of a daily 
journal, which continued for one year and suspended publication. It was a 
well made-up daily paper, and its suspension was a surprise to its patrons. 

The Petaluma Courier was started in the fall of 1876 by W. F. Shattuck. 
It is Democratic in politics ; the proprietor is a practical printer, who grew 
from boyhood and learned his trade in Sonoma county. He makes an excel- 
lent paper, in all its departments. The editor of the paper, E. S. Lippitt, is 
a leading lawyer of Sonoma county, in large practice. He is a man of fine 
education, and is a pointed and forcible writer. Mr. Lippitt has a thorough 
knowledge of the politics of the country. He is an old resident of the county, 
and knows its local needs. Under its present management the Courier can- 
not fail to become an influential as it is an able journal. 


To I. G. Wickersham is due the credit of establishing the first bank in the 
county of Sonoma. Mr. Wickersham came to Petaluma in 1853. In 1855 he 
was elected district attorney, and served in that position to the satisfaction of 
his constituents. He foresaw that the growing city, Petaluma, needed and 
would support a commercial bank, and in February, 18G5, put this idea into 
practical opperaiion, — opening, on the corner of Main and Washington streets, 
the banking-house of I. G. Wickersham & Co. The result of this experiment 
proved that Mr. Wickersham was correct in his judgment, — the business 
increased every year, and in October, 1874, it was changed to the First Na- 
tional Bank of Petaluma, with a full paid-up capital of two hundred thousand 
dollars. The business of the new bank was commenced January 1, 1875, — I. 
G. Wickersham, president ; H. H. Atwater, cashier. The trustees are the pres- 
ident and cashier above named, Jesse C. Wickersham, P. B. Hewlitt and H. 
L. Davis. The bank owns the building in which the business is carried on ; 
it is conveniently located on the leading business street of the city. It is ele- 
gantly furnished, and well arranged for the prompt dispatch of business. 

Tjie Bank of Sonoma Countv was organized in July, 1866. William 
Ilill was the first president, and has held that position to this date. E. 
Sprague was the first cashier ; he was succeeded by John S. Van Doren, who 
has served as cashier continuously since. The bank was organized with a 
capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars, which was increased in Janu- 
ary, 1877, to three hundred thousand dollars. The bank building is on the 
northwest corner of Main and Washington streets. It was built in 1873 at a 
cost of almost twenty-two thousand dollars. The directors are E. Newburg, 
E. Denman, .James Fowler, Warren Dutlon and William Hill. 

Petaluma Savings Bank. — The capital .stock of this bank is one hundred 
thousand dollars; it was organized in 1872. The fir-t president was J. M. 
Bowles ; he was succeeded by H. T. Fairbanks in 1873. Mr. Fairbanks has 
held the position continuously up to this time. The first cashier was O. V. 
W'alker ; the present is William B. Haskell. The directors are J. M. Bowles, 



B. Haskell, H. T. Fairbanks, F. T. Maynard, B. F. Tuttle, S. D. Towne, J. 
H. Crane, A. P. Whitney and John Moffet. The bank building is on Main 
street, opposite the American Hotel. It cost, with vaults and furniture com- 
plete, about ten thousand dollars. 


There is an excellent piblic library in Petaluma, containing about four 
thousand volumes, well selected, with all leading foreign and home magazines, 
pictorials and newspapers. It was organized under the auspices of the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, of Petaluma. It is supported by the dues of 
members. The rooms of the association are well managed and furnished, and 
are conveniently located on the corner of English and Main streets. The first 
oflScers were: President, T. F. Baylis; Vice-President, Lee Ellsworth; Record- 
ing Secretary, H. H. Atwater, and Treasurer, William Zartman. 


The Petaluma Fire Department has always been well organized and effi- 
cient. Its members have proven their prowess in many hard-fought battles. 
Thousands of dollars have been saved on more than one occasion by their 
good judgment, promptness, and courage. The citizens recognize the obligation 
due to them, and have always encouraged and aided the firemen. 

The companies are all handsomely uniformed and equipped for a showy 
turnout or for service when the bell taps and the time for action has arrived. 
All honor to the brave fireman who is ever ready to risk his life for the wel- 
fare of Gibers, with no hope of reward, other than the consciousness of having 
done his duty to his neighbor, thus filling one of the two greatest command- 


was organized June 10, 1857. William Van Houten was the first foreman, 
Van Houten resigned and was succeeded by Edward Buckley ; in 1858 George 
Walker was elected; in 1859 and 1860 Charles A. Plummer; in 1861 George 
Walker ; in 1862 William W. Main ; in 1863 Frank Bray; in 1864 B. Palmer ; 
in 1865 Charles Tann ; in 1866 John E. Gwinn ; in 1867 A. A. Prescott ; in 1868 
Frank Bray; in 1869 H. Pimm; in 1870 H. B. Hasbrouck ; in 1871 George 
Walker; in 1872 H. Pimm; in 1873 John E. Gwinn; in 1874 H. Pimm ; in 
1875 H. Pimm; in 1876 W. H. Zartman. 


was organized November 27, 1857. James N. McCune was the first foreman, 
and served in 1857, 1858 and 1859; in 1860 and 1861 T. F. Baylis; in 18';2 J. 
D. Cross; in 1863, 1864 and 1865 J. T. Huie; in 1866 J. S. Cutler, ii; 1867 
J. A. Wiswell; in 1868, 1869 and 1870 William Zu-tman ; in 1S71 : nd 1872 
G. W. Edelman; in 1873,1874 and 1875 H. Schierhold ; in 1876 M. M. 



was organized January 1, 1864 ; Fred. Frazier was the first foreman ; in 1865 
and 1866 D. W. Sroiife ; in 1867 and 1868 J. J. Ellis ; in 1869 and 1870 N. E. 
Manning; in 1871 James Tann ; in 1872 G. E. Millett; in 1873 J. E. Elmore; 
in 1874 S. E. Cooper; in 1875 William M. Brown. 


was organized April 3, 1867, William M, Brown was the first foreman; in 
1869 Julius Blume; in 1870 G. B. Palmer; in 1871 James Latimer; in 1872 
Thomas Edwards; in 1873 Julius Blume; in 1874 B Harter; in 1875 Frank 
Spalding; in 1876 A. Cerigheu. 


Petaluma is favorably situated for the successful prosecution of many 
branches of manufacturing. There is a constantly increasing local demand 
for manufactures. The town has already made a creditable start in this line, 
and its mechanics have an enviable reputation at home and abroad for skill 
and fair dealing. 

Carbiage Factories. — The most important industry in Petaluma is the 
manufacture of wjigons and carriages. The first establishment in the place 
was .started in 1852 by its present proprietor, William Zartman. The factory 
is complete in all its departments. Its machinery is propelled by steam. 

The next oldest factory is that of J. Loranger, established in 1864; then 
follow, in the order named, B. Harter, Weir & Spottswood, Hopes & Camemjn, 
R. Spottswood & Co., D. W. C. Putnam & Co., D. Jay, and Rutherford & 
Roberts. Petaluma wagons and carriages are sent to various portions of the 
State, especially to the southern counties ; and several vehicles have been sent 
to Nevada. At each of the above named establishments, plows, harrows, cul- 
tivators and oiher agricultural implements are made. The busine.>^s may be 
summarized as follows: Number of men employed, including carriage paint- 
ers, fifty-four; number of carriages and wagons made annually, two hundred 
and forty-five, — value of same, fifiy three thousand nine hundred dollars ; 
value of agricultural implements manufactured, .seven thounsand dollars; 
other work, fifteen thousand dollars; total value of all, seventy-nine thousand 
five hundred dollars. 

Harness and Saddlery. — Next in importance to the above is the manu- 
facture of harneiis and saddlery. Gwinn & Brainard commenced business in 
1867, and employ eight men; W. Davis employs four men, and C. Burgtorf, 
four men. Number of sets of harness made annually, five hundred; value, 
s-ixteen thousand dollars. Saddle.s, five hundred ; value ten thousanl dollars. 
Carriage trimming to the amount of four thousand dollars is done at the sev- 
eral e.stablishments. Total, thirty thous nd dollars. Petaluma harness and 
saddles have a wide reputation, and shipments of goods have been made to all 
parts of the State ; also to Nevada, Utah, and Peru, South America. 


Boots and Shoes. — Tliere are nine places at which boots and shoes are 
made. The most extensive manufacturer is M. Walsh, who makes nine hun- 
dred pairs per year. Total number pairs made annually, two thousand ; value, 
fifteen thousand dollars. A considerable portion of the leather used is Peta- 
luma manufacture. 

Foundry. — C. P. Hatch, proprietor. Established in 1859, and first in 
Sonoma or adjoining counties. Annual value of manufactures, ten thousand 

CLOTHiNG.^Nine men are employed in making clothing for men and boys. 
Clothing made annually is valued at fifteen thousand dollars. 

Furniture and Cabinet Work manufactured annually equals in value 
six thousand dollars. In the same department churns, fruit-dryers and butter- 
tubs, etc., are made to the value of six thousand dollars. 

Tannery. — Jacob Wick is proprietor of the business. Three hundred cords 
of tan-bark, all of Sonoma growth, are used every year; eight thousand hides 
are tanned annually ; sole, harness and shoe leather of all kinds is made ; 
value of manufacture, fifty-six thousand dollars. 

Pottery. — Petaluma pottery was established in 1866 ; all kinds of stone- 
ware manufactured; twenty thousand gallons of stone- ware made in the past 

Flouring Mills.— Central Mills, McCune Bros., proprietors, was estab- 
lished in 1864; it has four runs of stone; capacity, seventy-five barrels in 
twelve hours ; nineteen thousand seven hundred and twenty-five barrels of 
flour made annually ; seven men are employed. The flour is sold in Sonoma 
and Marin counties, and in San Francisco. Oriental Mills, established in 
1863; George P. McNear, proprietor; it has two runs of stone; thirty barrels 
made daily, and seven thousand eight hundred and ninety annually ; five men 
employed. Both mills do a general milling and jobbing business ; value of 
flour, etc., made, one hundred and sixty-five thousand six hundred and ninety 
dollars. Two-thirds or more of the annual product is sold in Sonoma, Marin 
and Mendocino counties, and balance is shipped to San Francisco. Petaluma 
flour enjoys a good reputation. 

Planing-Mills. — Petaluma planing-mill was established in 1867, and was 
the first in the county, also most extensive and complete in Sonoma or adjoin- 
ing counties; Nay & Broocke, proprietors ; work sent to various parts of Sono- 
ma and Marin counties; six men are employed, manufacturing doors, blinds, 
sash, mouldings, brackets, boxes, tanks and all kinds of mill-work. The Cen- 
tennial planing-mill was established in September, 1876, Sloper & Fuller, 
proprietors ; three men are employed ; articles manufactured same as above, 
except doors, sash and blinds. The machinery of both mills is propelled by 
steam-power. The material used comes mostly from Sonoma county ; value of 
manufactures, twenty thousand dollars. 

Tin Shops. — There are four tin-shops in Petaluma, the first of which was 
established in 1867. The proprietors are Thomas Schlosser, J. J- Buckins, 
Harris Bros, and A- W. Barnes. All kinds of tin, sheet-iron and copper ware 
are manufactured. Dairy-work constitues a considerable portion of the busi- 
ness. About one thousand sacks of charcoal, which is manufactured in the 



county, is used annually. The oiher material is purchased in San Francisco 
or imported from the east; value of manufactures, twenty thousand dollars. 

Cooperage was established in 1868, -Isaac Fuller, proprietor. Fifteen 
thousand kegs and firkins, two hundred barrels and twenty tanks are made ; 
material mostly imported from the east, and some procured in Lake county; 
value of manufactures, three thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars. 

Brick-yard, established by Jordan Peter in 1867, and now owned by him. 
The material abundant and of first-class quality ; capacity of kilns 1,200,000 
bricks ; number made annually 3,500,000 ; value $4,200. 

Glove Factory — M. Berger, proprietor. It was established in 1870; 500 
dozen buck-skin gloves made; 12 persons employed, mostly females; value of 
manufactures, $9,000. 

Breweries. — Petaluma Brewery, e-stablished in 1855 by Christlich & Erbe, 
was the first in Sonoma county ; Baltz t^ Schierhold are the present proprietors. 
Sonoma Brewery, established in 1872, Mechele & (iriess, proprietors; they 
ship fifty tons annually to San Francisco. The capacity of the two breweries is 
5,000 gallons per week, and the quantity made about 81,000 gallons per annum. 
They use 200 cords of wood, 850 tons of barley, 12| tons hops, mostly Califor- 
nia grown. Their beer is sold in Sonoma and Marin counties ; value of same, 

Gas Works. — Established in 1863, Peter Donohue, proprietor; 400 tons of 
English and Australian coal used annually; 2,800,000 feet of gas made; value 
of same, 815,800. 

Saddle-tree Factory, M. Haar, proprietor, was established by him in 
1861, and probably is the most extensive in the State outside of San Francisco; 
all materials, except a small quantity of Oregon pine, procured in Son6ma 
county ; trees sent to all parts of California, also to Nevada, Utah, Colorado, 
and Texas; number of trees made 2,500 ; value of same, 510,000. 

Marble Works, Thompson & Meek, proprietors, established March, 1875; 
Italian and Vermont marble used ; work sent to various parts of Sonoma, 
Marin and Mendocino counties, and to other parts of the State ; four men em- 
ployed ; value of manufacture, ijilO.OOO. 

Soap Works. — Established July, 1875, G. W. Manville, proprietor ; 3,000 
boxes of 18 pounds each made annually ; value of same, $4,500. 

Soda Works — B. F. Connolly, proprietor, established in 1860 ; makes 
12,000 dozen bottles of soda and sarsaparilla, and 700 dozen charapaigne cider, 
which are distributed in Sonoma and Marin counties ; amount of sales $10,000. 

Cigar Factory. — A. Horstman, proprietor, established in 1871 ; 50,000 
cigars made annually ; value $3,000. 

Bakeries. — Three ; W. B. Matzenbach. .J. T. Rugg, and George Stroebel, 
proprietors ; amount of flour consumed 840 barrels ; value of bread, cakes, etc., 
made $12,768. 

Summary, — Number of persons employed in manufacturing 201 ; value of 
manufactures $535,150. 



Streets. — The principal business streets of Petal uma are Main, Washing- 
ton, English, Kentucky and B streets. Most of the streets and sidewalks are 
paved, and the main roads leading out of the town have been graded and 
macadamized at a heavy outlay of money, raised by special tax, which fell 
mostly on the people of the city. There are two plazas or public squares, each 
of which covers a block three hundred by three hundred feet in size. Both 
are well improved. 

Parks. — Agricultural Park, in the western part of the town, covers about 
twenty acres, and contains the race track and pavilion of the Sonoma and 
Marin District Agricultural Society. 

City Gardens. — A plot of ground has been laid off in the northern part 
of this city for a public garden. The plot, containing eight acres, has been 
properly prepared and laid out with a view to its future beauty and comfort 
as a pleasure garden. Over twelve hundred shade and ornamental trees of 
different varieties have been planted. 

Sewerage. — The system of sewerage is almost perfect. Mains run the entire 
length of Washington, English, C and F streets, and empty into Petaluma 
creek. Thus all matter deposited in the creek, twice in every twenty-four 
hours is carried by the tide into San Pablo bay. The small sewers connect 
with the mains from nearly every .street and alley in the city. 


Dr. J. Walker, of I. X. L. Bitters notoriety, introduced the first water 
brought in pipes to the city of Petaluma. He sold his interest to John Cava- 
nagh and George L. Bradley, and they subsequently sold to S. D. Towne and 
Major James Armstrong. The water was taken from a large spring back of 
the town. 

On the 2d of April, 1868, Towne & Armstrong, in connection with the Hon. 
B. B. Munday, organized the Petaluma Water Company, and on the 16th of 
the same month it was incorporated. This company, after prolonged and 
serious difficulty, sold out to the Sonoma Water Company, which was incorpo- 
rated in 1871. The Sonoma W^ater Company now owns the works, and supply 
the town with water. There is an ample supply for domestic purposes. There 
are hydrants all at convenient fronts, which, with the supply of hose kept on 
hand, affords a great degree of safety in case of fire. The water is brought 
from Sonoma mountain, 


The fiist cemetery in Petaluma was called Oak Hill Cemetery, and was the 
property of the city, and contained about eight acres. It is still used. 

The Cyftress Hill Cemetery was laid off in 1872 by John A. McNear. It 
contains about forty acres, and is situated a quarter of a mile from the Peta- 
luma and Santa Rosa road, and about a mile from the business part of the city. 
It is a beautiful location for a cemetery. The drives and walks are macadamized 
and ornamental tree-i have been j)lanted over most of the grounds. It is on a 
hill overlooking all the surrounding country. 



In addition to the industries elsewhere described there are three nurseries 
where fruit and ornamented trees and rare plants of all kinds can be obtained. 
There are seven hotels in the town ; six livery stables ; four stove and hardware 
Btores ; eight dry-goods stores ; fourteen grocery and provision stores ; three 
drug stores; three furniture stores; two crockery, glassware and stationery 
stores; two variety stores; three boot and shoe stores; five fruit and vegetable 
stores ; four cigar stores ; five butcher shops ; two bakeries ; four laundries ; one 
stock -yard ; seven lawyers, and nine doctors. All the business houses of the 
town are of a good class, and traSic is well systematized. 


The Sonoma and Marin Agricultural and Mechanical Society was organized 
and held its first fair in Ilealdsburg, in September, 1859. The second fair was 
held in Petaluma, in 1860 ; the third in Santa Rosa, September 24, 1861 ; the 
fourth in Sonoma, October 7, 1862. The name was changed to the San Pablo 
District Agricultural Society, and the fifth fair was held at Sonoma, September 
15, 1863. The sixth fair was held at Napa, October 11, 1864. After that the 
society seems to have entirely collapsed. 

On the 6th of June, 1867, the Sonoma and Marin District Agricultural Society 
was organized, and was from the start a success. The society is out of debt. It 
ha.s expended $35,000 in the purchase of land, erection of buildings, fences and 
repairs thereon. The large sum of $45,017 has been paid as premium purses 
on speed, programmes, running expenses of the fair, interest on loans, etc. 
The stock accommodations and grounds have been greatly improved during 
the past year, and the society may be said to be upon a solid financial basis. 
This success is largely due to the earnest eflTorts of some of the leading citizens 
of Petaluma and the enterprising farmers residing in the valley, among whom 
we may mention J. R. Rose, the first president; Lee Ellsworth, Prof. E. S. 
Lippitt, E. Denman, H. Meacham, and others. Following will be found a 
tabulated list of the presidents and secretaries of all the societies from the first 
organization to date : 


1859 W. p. Ewing A. B. Boggs 

1860 J. Q.Shirley I. G. Wickersham 

1861 Dr. John Hendley....W. H. Crowell 

1862 Wm. McP. Hill Col. J. Walton 

1863 Nathan Coombs T. L. Schell 

1864 A. T. Grigsby Jos. Rowland 

1865 Disorganized Disorganized 

1866 " " 

1867 J. R. Rose P. Cowen 

1868 " " " " 

1869 " " " " 

1870 E. Denman J. Grover 

1871 Lee Ellsworth " " 











1872 E. Denman E. S. Lippitt 

1873 J. R. Roae " 

1874 " " , 

1875 H. Meacham 

1876 " " 

Since the reorganization of the society the fairs have been held every fall in 
Petaluma. The citizens have come liberally to its relief whenever it was nec- 
essary to do 80. The society now is upon as good a footing as any in the State, 
and does much for Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties, by affording the 
opportunity to exhibit to hundreds who come from abroad, not only the fine 
horses, cattle, sheep, and other live stock of the district, but also the surpris- 
ing products of our generous soil. 

Following are the receipts of the society, and the donations by the citizens, 
the city, and the State, for each year since its reorganization : 


1867. Receipts from fair $7,328 

1868. " " " 5,763 

1869. " " " 5,984 

" Donation by citizens 4,217 

1870. Receipts from Fair 6,341 

1871. " " " 5,800 

1872. " " " 5,841 

" Donation from State 2,000 

1873. Receipts from fair 6,201 

" Donation from State 2,000 

1874. Receipts from fair 5,293 

" Donation by citizens 6,000 

" City bonds 5,000 

1875. Receipts from fair 6,200 

1876. " " " 6,049 

Total receipts $80,017 


The Mutual Relief Association, of Petaluma, to which we have elsewhere 
referred, deserves more extended notice as one of the most successful and use- 
ful organizations in this county. To the efforts of G. R. Codding, the secre- 
tary, ihe success of the society is mainly due. It accomplishes the object of 
life insurance at the least possible cost, and with the greatest possible benefits. 
Its members are distributed through Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and British Co- 
lumbia. The funds are loaned on real estate, and the management is honest, 
economical and safe. A full list of officers and directors appears in an adver- 
tisement in another part of this book. 



Following is a carefully prepared estimate of the exports of Petaluma for 
a year, which will give the reader an idea of the commercial importance of 
the city : 

Wool shipped, pounds 125,000 

Butter " " 3,500,000 

Cheese " " 750,000 

Hay " tons 9,000 

Grain " " 3,000 

Potatoes " sacks .. 200,000 

Eggs " dozen 75,000 

Poultry " " 6,000 

Quail " " 12,000 

Flour " barrels 7,000 

Cattle " head 1,500 

Hogs " " 23,000 

Sheep " " 7,000 

Calves " " 12,000 

Fruit " boxes 40,000 

Paving stones 2,000,000 


Friar Juan Amoroso was the person who had the honor of giving the beau- 
tiful name of Santa Kosa to the stream from which the valley, the township 
and the town were afterwards called. It is recorded of Friar Amoroso that 
he was one of thojse missionaries who dared everything in behalf of the Cross; 
earnest, faithful and bold, he j)reached the story of the Master without fear. 
He was a true disciple of the Church militant on Earth, and believed in teach- 
ing the heathen the practices of Christianity, and, as far as possible, the arts 
of civilization by force, if they would not adopt them by persuasion. His 
zeal led him, in 1824, to accept the difficult, not to say dangerous task, of found- 
ing the mission of San Rafael. He successfully accomplished that task. Five 
years after, in 1829, he made an excursion northward in company with one 
Jose Cantua, hoping, doubtless, to find some stray heathen who by his zeal 
might be brought into the fold of the faitliful. He came to the territory of 
the Cainemeros tribe of Indians, who resided on the river Chocoalomi, the 
Indian name of what is now Santa Rosa creek. At the rocky point opposite 
the "old adobe," a mile and a half from the present town, he captured an In- 
dian girl, baptLsed her in the stream and gave her the name Santa Rosa, from 
the fact that, on that very day the Church was celebrating the feast of Santa 
Rosa de Lima. He was attacked by the natives and fled, arriving safely at his 
mission of San Rafael. Fortunately the stream and the valley took its name 
from this beau.iful incident. Friar Juan Amoroso and Padre Altimira were 
the very first pioneers whose eyes were gladdened by the sight of the hills and 
valleys of Sonoma in their virgin beauty. 


The adobe house, on Santa Rosa creek, a mile and a half above town, was 
the first house built in this valley, or anywhere north of Sonoma, with the 
exception of the houses at Ross. The land upon which the house stood, and 
two leagues around it, was granted to Mrs. Carrillo, a sister of the wife of 
General Vallejo The house was built in 1838-39 ; it still stands, and is owned 
by F, G. Hahman, of Santa Rosa. 

A graphic writer gives the annexed picture of the "old adobe" in July, 
1850, and its then occupant, Ramon Carrillo ; the description will be recog- 
nized and relished by all old Californians. We cannot forbear quoting it : " In 
front of the house was a court-yard of considerable extent, and part of this was 
sheltered by a porch ; here, when the vaccaros have nothing to call them to the 
field, they pass the day looking like retainers of a rude court ; a dozen wild, 
vicious little horses with wooden saddles on their backs stand ever ready for 
work; while lounging about, the vaccaros smoke, play the guitar or twist a 
new riatta of hide or horse hair. When the sun gets lower they go to sleep in 
the shade, while the little horses who remain in the sunshine do the same ap- 
parently, for they shut their eyes and never stir. Presently a vaccaro, judging 
the time by the sun, gets up and yawns, staggering lazily towards his horse, 
gathers up his riatta and twists it around the horn of his saddle — the others 
awakening, rise and do the same, all yawning with eyes half open, looking as 
lazy a set as ever were seen, as indeed they are when on foot ; ' Huppal Anda!' 
and away they go in a cloud of dust, splashing through the river, waving their 
lassos around their heads with a wild shout, and disappearing from sight almost 
as soon as mounted. The 'vaccaro' wants at all times to ride furiously, and 
the little horses' eyes are opened wide enough before they receive the second 
dig of their riders' iron spurs." The writer, though he knew it not, saw and 
described the last of this kind of life at the "old adobe" on Santa Rosa creek ; 
it was, as it were, the very close of the old and the opening of a new area. 
Don Ramon went south, and in 1851 the building came into the possession of 
David Mallagh, who had married one of Mrs. Carrillo's daughters. Julio 
Carrillo owned all on the north side of the creek ; the daughters fell heir to 
that portion lying between Santa Rosa and Bennett Valley creeks. In the fall 
of 1851, Mallagh and Donald McDonald were keeping a public house at the 
"old adobe," and had also a small stock of goods and groceries ; it was the first 
attempt at merchandizing in Santa Rosa valley. 

In June of 1852, Alonzo Meacham came up from San Francisco. He and 
his partner, Barney Hoen, had been burned out in the great May fire that year. 
He bought out Mallagh & McDonald, and established a general store and trad- 
ing po.5t. Shortly after he sent a petition for a post-office, which was established. 
Mr. Meacham was made postmaster and gave the office the name of Santa 
Rosa, to which the town of Santa Rosa succeeded. At that time the mail was 
carried once a week from Benicia to Napa, to Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Miller & 
Walker's store and thence to San Rafael. Mr. Meacham's commission was 
signed by James Buchanan, and Mr. M. is entitled to the gratitude of pos- 
terity that he did not call the post-office Mallaghsville, Buchanansburg or 
some other stupid name of like derivation. Barney Hoen, who had gone to 
Oregon after the May fire of 1852, returned in the fall, and hearing that his 


old partner, Meachara, was in Santa Rosa, came up on the second trip of the 
steamer Red Jacket, in November. He landed at New Town and came on 
horseback to Santa Rosa, and purchased of Meacham a half interest in his busi- 
ness. Meacham in the meantime had bought a tract of seventy acres of land 
from Julio Carrillo, where the town of Santa Rosa now stands, for twelve dol- 
lars an acre. On May 1, 1853, F. G. Ilahraan purchased Meacham's interest in 
the business at the "old adobe," and. a few weeks after Hoen & Hahman sold 
an interest to Ilartman, and the firm took the name of Hoen & Co. 

That summer of 1853 business was lively at the "old adobe;'' all the freight- 
ing was done by pack-mules, and it was a purchasing point for settlers up the 
Russian River valley, and as far north as Clear lake. Trains of pack mules 
might be seen at all hours, either loading or unloading freight. In August, 
18.53, the following entry appears on the books of Hoen & Co. : "Real estate — 
to Alonzo Meacham. Bought of him August 9th, payable two months after 
date, one piece of land (say seventy acres) opposite .Tulio Carrillo, $1,600". 
The west line of this tract ran through the plaza of Santa Rosa; the land was 
valued at twelve dollars an acre, — the additional ten dollars an acre paid was 
for the fence which had been built around it. The " old adobe" was sold by 
Mallagh to Walkinshaw, of Santa Clara, and he wanted Hoen & Co., who had 
been paying twenty-five dollars a month for part of the house, to pay three 
hundred dollars a month for the whole. They refused to pay it, and made the 
Meacham purchase with the view of laying otr a new town. Julio Carrillo 
agreed to give as much land for that purpose as there was in the tract of 
Hoen & Co. In the first rough survey of the place the creek was taken for a 
base, and a line was run northerly from an oak-stump, which stood near the 
old Masonic hall, to Fourth street, — leaving the plaza trees on land of Hoen 
& Co. The price of lots was fixed at twenty-five dollars a-piece, without any 
regard to location. Julio Carrillo's house on Second street, — now owned by J. 
P. Clark, — was built by John Bailiff in the summer of 1852. This was the 
only house in the town when it was first surveyed. Achilles Richardson had 
a small store neat the creek, which was outside of First street, — the southern 
limit of the embryo city. 

The first real-estate transaction was a sale to Henry Valley, who purchased 
six lots, and built a house which still stands on the southwest corner of E and 
Second streets; for the six lots Valley paid one hundred and fifty dollars. 

In the winter of 1853 there was no event of consequence occurred, except 
the race between Hooker and Bennett for the legislature. The election of 
Bennett, and the bill he introduced to take a vote upon the question of the 
removal of the county-seat, was a matter of much importance to Santa Rosa. 
The question was not agitated publicly, — the Sonoma valley people were afraid 
to raise the issue, and the Santa Rosa people kept their council to themselves. 

The Bennett bill provided that the question of removal should be submitted 
to a vote of the people at the following election in September. The bill became 
a law in March, 1854, and from that time until the election, the people of Santa 
Rosa were not idle. 

In the spring of 1854 the old Masonic hall was built, — the third house in 
the town. John Ingram had the contract for its construction ; singularly 


enough the specifications provided that it should be weather-boarded with 
Eastern pine, which was carried out to the letter at great cost, while redwood 
boards (far more durable) could have been gotten for one-third less. But in 
those days the redwood, like the prophet in his own country, had no honor. 
Santa Kosa Lodge, No. 57, first worked under a dispensation, and was char- 
tered May 2, 1854. Achilles Richardson was the worshipful master, John 
Ingram was the first senior warden, and William Noel was the first secretary ; 
among the charter members were Lindsay Carson, James A. Campbell, David 
Thompson and" Westly Mathews. J. H. Griggs came over from Solano soon 
after, and was the second worshipful master of the lodge. We have mentioned 
these facts because it was a little remarkable that Masonry should have taken 
such an early start in Santa Rosa, — the third and best house in the town being 
a Masonic hall. As soon as the hall was finished, the lower part was rented 
to E. P. Colgan for a hotel. He had been keeping a public-house at the " old 
adobe," and afterwards built a hotel for himself on the site of the present Santa 
Rosa house. This was the fourth house, and was built by John Ingram. 

In the spring of 1854 Hoen sold his interest in the store at the adobe to his 
partners, Hahman & Hartman, and put up the building where John Rich- 
ards* barber-shop stands, for a store. He opened it in June, and was the first 
merchant in Santa Rosa, except Richardson, who was just outside the survey. 
Hahman & Hartman, who still kept store at the "old adobe," saw that Santa 
Rosa was destined to become the principal place in this section, and made 
preparations to move. Hoen had built on the corner they wished to occupy, 
and F. G. Hahman purchased of Julio Carrillo the lot on the northwest corner 
of Second and C streets, opposite Clark's livery stable. He immediately com- 
menced the erection of a building ; completed and opened it on the 4th of 
July, 1854, with a grand ball, of which more will be said further on. 

Soon after the passage of the bill authorizing a vote on the question of 
removing the county seat, the people of Santa Rosa valley commenced a good- 
natured seige to secure a majority vote for the change. As the summer 
advanced the contest waxed warmer ; the Santa Rosans projected a grand bar- 
becue at the proposed county seat on the Fourth of July. It was a master-stroke 
of policy, — the people came and saw, and were conquered by the beauty of the 
place and the hospitality of the people, who, on that occasion, killed the fat- 
ted calf, and invited to the feast the rich and poor, the lame, the halt and the 
blind, — in fact everybody who had, or who could inQnence or control, a vote. 
The smoke of the sacrifice of whole sheep and huge quarters of beef ascended 
to heaven freighted with the pra^'ers of the Santa Rosans to dispose the hearts 
and ballots of the people in their favor, and, like the pious Greeks of old on 
similar occasions, when the smoke had ceased to ascend, and the offering was 
cooked to a turn, they partook of the sacrificial meat, — the incense of which 
had tickled their nostrils, whetting at the same time their appetites and their 
devotions. At least five hundred persons, from all parts of the country, were 
present. A. Guerny, a Baptist preacher, delivered the oration ; James Prewitt 
read the Declaration of Independence ; John Robinson, Sylvester Bailou and 
Joe Neville also made speeches. 

The barbecue was so grand a success that it made a lasting impression on 


the people, and from that day to this barbecues have been the moet popular of 
all entertainments in Sonoma county. This barbecue was held beneath a 
splendid grove of oaks which stood on or near the Hewitt place, then owned 
by Commodore Elliott. The day closed with a grand ball, given in the store- 
room of Ilahman & liartman, which had just been finished, on the corner of 
Second and C streets. The Powers boys, with their violin, furnished the 
music, and about forty couple chased the hours with flying feet, until surprised 
by the early summer sun, which crept up behind Mayacmas, flooding the 
valley with rosy light. 

Kirlv in 1853 J. W. Ball came into the valley; he first located on the 
Farmer place, on the south side of Santa Eosa creek. There a number of "his 
family died of small-pox ; he then moved over to the Boleau place, where Dr. 
Simms now lives, and kept there a sort of tavern and store. He bought ten 
acres of land at the junction of the Russian river. Bodega and Sonoma roads, 
where the cemetery lane now intersects the Sonoma road, and laid oflT a town 
there, which was called Franklin-lown. S. G. Clark and Dr. Boyce, who had 
bought out Ball, built and opened a store in Franklin. Ball had a tavern 
there ; H. Beaver a blacksmith shop, and W. B. Birch a saddle-tree factory. 
In September, 1853, S. T. Coulter and W. H. McClure bought out Boyce & 

The same fall the Baptist church, free to all denominations, was built. For 
a short time Franklin divided the attention of new comers with Santa Rosa 
and the " old adobe." The selection of Santa Rosa as the county seat, in the 
fall of 1854, put an end to rivalry. Within the year following all the houses 
in Franklin were moved to the new county seat, including the church,, which 
still stands on Third street, between E and D streets. In 1875 it was sold and 
converted into two tenement houses. 

Barney Hoen, in a canvass of the county, promised that he and a few others 
would donate lots and build a court house, if the people would vote for the 
change. When it was known that Santa Rosa had won, an impromptu cele- 
bration was gotten up, anvils were fired, Hoen killed one beef, and Julio Car- 
lillo another, for a free feast. The rejoicing was kept up for two days. 

On the 18th of September the board of supervisors met in Sonoma, can- 
vassed the returns, and passed an order declaring that Santa Rosa was the 
county seat of Sonoma county, — a majority of votes having been cast in favor 
of the change. Supervisor S. L. Fowler moved that the archives be removed 
to the new county seat on Friday, September 22, 1854, which passed unani- 
mously. On the day appointed, Jim Williamson, with a four-horse team and 
wagon, accompanied by Horace Martin and some others, went down to Sonoma, 
captured and brought up the archives, amid dire threats of injunction and 
violence from the Sonoma people, who saw, with no little chagrin, the county 
seat slip through their fingers. The Santa Rosans had the law, wanted only 
possession, and would not have hesitated to use all the force necessary to get 
that; as it was, they captured the archives by strategy, and the dry and dusty 
documents of former drowsy old alcaldes were whirled over the road as fast as 
Jim Williamson's four-in-hand could take them to the new capital, where they 
safely arrived, and were deposited pro tern, in Julio Carrillo's house, which was 


rented for that purpose. The supervisors followed the records at a slower pace, 
and on the 20th of September, 1854, at five o'clock p. M., the board convened 
in Carrillo's house, and at that meeting Barney Hoen gave bonds to have a 
court house put up in six weeks, on the lots which had been donated by Hoen, 
Hahman & Hartman. With the aid of a man named Pinnard, a French- 
man, he had the work done within the time, and the county government occu- 
pied it. This building stood where Ringo's store now is, and was afterwards 
removed. The county, in 1856, built the lower story of the present court 
house, and sold the old one and the lots upon which it stood. The first 
story of the court house was built for nine thousand dollars, by .J. M. Phillips, 
a contractor from San Francisco. In 1859 the upper story was put on, at a 
cost of about twenty thousand dollars. In 1871-2 the recorder's office was 
built at a cost of twenty thousand dollars. 

Hoen sold out his store to G. N. Miller in the spring of 1855. F. G. 
Hahman was the first postmaster; Hoen was the agent of Adams & Co.'s 
express, and Chil. Eichard.son started the first stage line between Santa Rosa 
and Petaluma. John Ingram built one of the first residences on Second street, 
now occupied by Mr. Lancaster; and Charley White built the first bridge 
across Santa Rosa creek. The lower story of the court house was the first 
brick edifice, and John Ingram built the second for Buck Williamson, next 
to the office of the Sonoma Democrat, and now owned by Gus Kohle. 

The first physician in the town was Dr. J. F. Boyce, and the first lawyers 
were Judge Jackson Temple and the late Colonel M. Ross. 

Tlie first religious service was held by a Methodist minister in the open air, 
under a grove of trees which were near the present site of the court house. The 
Christian Church congregation was organized in 1854, with about twenty mem- 
bers, by the much-beloved Elder Thomas Thompson and J. P. McCorkle. 

On the site of the brick boarding-house, near the Pacific Methodist College, 
James Cockrill had a residence as early as 1852 ; it was a long w.ay out of town 
when the first survey was made. Mr. Cockrill died of .small-pox, which was 
epidemic in 1853. 

The merchants, in the order of their coming, were: C. Richardson, B. Hoen, 
Hahman & Hartman, Marks & Rosenburg, who opened on C s'reet, on the lot 
opposite the Grand hotel, and formerly occupied by Carruthers. Miller, the 
county treasurer, bought out Hoen; he died, and Dr. Hendley bought the 

The first saddler was a man named Barnard, and T. B. Hood succeeded him 
in 1856. E. T. Farmer bought an interest in Hendley's business, and the firm 
carried on business under the name of Hendley & Farmer, on the east side of 
the plaza. B. Goldfish bought out Hahman & Hartman in 1856, and was 
joined by Henry Wise, and the firm of Wise & Goldfish are the oldest merchants 
in the town. E. T. Farmer succeeded Farmer & Hendley. 

The first school in Santa Rosa was kept in the old Masonic hall, and was 
taught by W. M. Williamson, now of Samoa, Navigator Islands. 

The first term of the court of sessions in Santa Rosa was held in Julio Car- 
rillo's house, by Judge Frank Shattuck ; Judge P. R. Thompson and James 
Prewitt were associate justices. 


Santa Rosa grew quite rapidly from 1854 up to 1859, — having that year, by 
actual count, two churches, and two resident preachers, nine lawyers, five 
doctors, one academy for two hundred and fifty pupils, two notaries, one news- 
paper, nine dry goods and grocery stores, one drug store, two hotels, two 
restaurants, two saloons, one saddler shop, one butcher shop, one shoemaker, 
one jeweler, one paint shop, one carriage shop, and three carpenter shops, one 
pump factory, two livery stableH, one bakery, seventy-four residences, and a 
population of four hundred. 

In 1859 the firm of Wise & Goldfish commenced business, and have con- 
tinued together without a change of name, or any change in their firm, for 
nineteen years, a very unusual circumstance in business connections in this 
Slate. They moved out of the building, on the east side of the plaza, to Main 
street early in 1860, and on the 17 th of March, I lend ley & Farmer moved into 
the vacated store, and opened business. The business then commenced has 
continued, and is now represented by Riley, Hardin & Farmer, — C. C Farmer 
being the junior member of the firm. Mr. George Hood has been continuously 
in the jewelry business for a very long time, and still has his store on Main 

From 1859 to 1870 the town grew slowly. In the latter year it was credited 
with but nine hundred inhabitants, it had doubled its population in a decade. 
In 1872 the railroad was completed, the scene changed as if by magic, and in 
the short space of five years the town has increased from a population of one 
thousand to six thousand. There are now twelve hundred houses — many of 
them substantial brick structures — the city limits include an area of a mile 
and a half square, and there is a rapid growth in wealth as well aa in popula- 


The most notable brick buildings, named in the order in which they were 
built, are : The Santa Rosa Bank building, on Exchange street, built in 1871-2; 
the recorder's ofiice, on the corner of Exchange and Fourth streets, completed 
the same year; the I. O. O. F. hall, on the corner of Exchange and Third 
streets, built the same year; the Ridgeway block came next, and that was 
followed by the (irand Hotel building, on the corner of Third and Main streets. 
This fine structure was built by Neece & West, and is kept as a first-class hotel 
by Neece & Pooler. The block owned by Judge Overton, Morrow Brothers, 
and others, on Fourth street, was built about the same time. In 1874 Mrs. 
Spencer put up a block on Fourth street, Jerry Ridgeway a block on Third street, 
the Santa Rosa Savings bank their elegant building on Exchange street. The 
same year T. L, Thompson erected Sonoma Democratic building, on Exchange 
street, and General Parks the block on the corner of Fourth and B street. 
The Occidental hotel, on Fourth street, the largest and most costly building in 
the city, was completed in 1876. It is kept in first-class style by G. A. Tupper, 
and is one of the finest houses north of San Francisco, 

For want of space we must bring this branch of our subject to a close, without 
mentioning other buildings equally worthy of special notice. 



To E. T. Farmer is due the credit of establishing the first bank in the city 
of Santa Rosa. When others had not confidence enough to invest, he guaranteed 
them an interest on their capital, and launched the enterprise, certain of the 
future of Santa Rosa as a business centre, though at that time the population 
numbered not more than one thousand. The bank was incorporated on the 
11th of August, 1870, with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars. E. T. 
Farmer was elected the first president, and C. G. Ames the first cashier — both 
have held their respective offices ever since. The first office of the bank was 
in the store of E. T. Farmer, on Third street. The building now occupied, on 
Exchange street, was put up in 1872, and marked a new era in the progress of 
Santa Rosa. In 1873 the capital stock was increased to three hundred thousand 
dollars. Mr. Farmer, the president of the bank, has done a great deal towards 
developing the resources of Santa Rosa and the surrounding country. Mr. 
Ames, the cashier, is an old resident of the county, who has long maintained 
a reputation for business capacity and integrity. The directors are E. T. 
Farmer, C. G. Ames, Thomas Hopper, David Burris, J. S. Taylor, Captain 
W. E. Cocke and E. H. Barnes. 


was organized in 1873, with a capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars. 
A. P. Overton was eleded first president. F. G. Hahman was appointed by 
the board of directors the first cashier — both hold their respective offices, and 
have held them continously since the organization of the bank. The bank was 
first opened in Hood's building, on Main street. In 1874 the new and hand- 
some quarters now occupied, on Exchange street, was built at the cost of four- 
teen thousand dollars. A special meeting is soon to be held for the purpose of 
increasing the capital stock of the bank. The savings bank has been a success 
from its organization. The president, A. P. Overton, is a successful business 
man of sound judgment. The cashier, F. G. Hahman, has been identfied with 
the town from the day the first step was taken in ils location down to the 
present time, and has always maintained the reputation of an energetic and 
trustworthy business man. The directors are A. P. Overton, Henry Wise, E. 
Latapie, A. Runyon, M. Doyle, Daniel Brown, W. S. M. Wright. 


In the year 1859 the Pacific Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church South inaugurated measures looking to the early organization of a 
college. Trustees were appointed, and Rev. J. C. Stewart was elected agent. 
The citizens of Vacaville and vicinity proposed to furnish buildings and 
grounds, and turn the same over to the trustees free of debt. The ofler was 
accepted, and a meeting of the board of trustees was held in February, 1861, 
when the following persons were elected to positions in the college, namely : 
Rev. J. C. Stewart, president pro tern., and C. S. Smyth, professor of mathe- 
matics. A short time after this O, H. O'Neill wa^ employed as temporary 
professor of languages, 


It was decided to open a preparatory school on the 11th of March, 1861. 
The first regular session of the college was opened in July, 1861, with Profea- 
Bor C. S. Smyth, department of mathematics ; Professor S. B. Morse, depart- 
ment of languages, and Miss E. A. Caldwell in charge of primary department. 
The first day showed an attendance of only thirteen student-*; yet within four 
months the number had increased to forty-six. Three weeks before the close 
of the session, Rev. W. T. Lucky, who had previously been elected president, 
arrived and took charge of the instituiion. 

The first annual catalogue, published in May, 1862, contained the names of 
over eighty students enrolled for the year. There was a period of uninter- 
rupted prosperity from 1862 to April, 1865, when the main college building 
was destroyed by fire — the work of an incendiary. Provision was promptly 
made for the accommodation of classes, and the exercises of the institution 
went on as usual, without the loss of a single recitation. 

After a year and a half of zealous effort on the part of the agent. Rev. W. 
M. Winters, another building was erected, at a cost of sixteen thousand dol- 
lars. In December, 1866, Dr. Lucky tendered his resignation, to take effect 
in May, 1867. At the annual meeting of the board of trustees, in May, Dr. 
J. K. Tliomas, of Emory College, (leorgia, was elected president. The insti- 
tution continued its sessions in Vacaville until May, 1870, when, by vote of 
the trustees, it was removed to Santa Rosa. 

The citizens of Santa Rosa and vicinity generously donated ten acres of land, 
and erected thereon a spacious college building, at a cost of twenty-five thou- 
sand dollars. The present value of the building and grounds is estimated at 
thirty thousand dollars. The college grounds are situated in the northeastern 
part of the city, and are beautifully ornamented with evergreens and native 
oaks. The building is commodious, affording accommodations for three hun- 
dred students. There are two literary societies connected with the college, 
which have their halls neatly furnished. The libraries of the two societies 
contain about eight hundred volumes. 

The first regular session in Santa Rosa was opened in August, 1871, with 
A. L. Fitzgerald, A. M., president and professor of mental and moral science ; 
C. S. Smyth, professor of mathematics; Charles King, professor of languages, 
and Miss Florence Miller in charge of the primary department 

In July, 1876, President A. L. Fitzgerald tendered his resignation, to take 
effect in October, when Rev. W. A. Finley was elected to take charge of the 

The present faculty consists of Rev. W. A. Finley, D. D., president and 
professor of mental and moral science; C. S. Smyth, A. M., professor of math- 
ematics ; O. H. Roberts, A. M., professor of Latin language and literature; E. 
•J. Griffith, A. M., professor of natural science ; W. A. Finley, A. M., professor 
of Greek language and literature; Ferdinand Kenyon, A. B., tutor in mathe- 
matics; W. A. Wright, A. M., commercial and business department; Miss 
Lillu Werlien, department of music. 

The present attendance is good, and the prospects of the college are in every 
respect encouraging. While the institution ha« enjoyed marked prosperity 
under previous administrations, we are confident that in the future its reputa- 


tion for good discipline and thorough work will be fully equal to that which 
it has already established. The graduates of the institution, up to May, 1876, 
number fifty-eight. The annual commencement takes place in the month of 
May, each year. 


This institution is under the control and patronage of the Christian Church 
in the State of California. It is one of the two colleges situated in the city of 
Santa Rosa, whicli institutions are the pride and glory of the place. 

The grounds were purchased, and the buildings erected during the summer 
of 1872, at a cost of about twenty-five thousand dollars. The main building is 
well-constructed. In size it is ample for several hundred students, being 
one hundred and three feet long by sixty-nine wide. The college chapel is a 
hall, beautiful in design, and well arranged for comfort. There are a sufficient 
number of recitation rooms, society and music halls, well adapted to the use 
for which designed. 

The present faculty has been secured at great expense, most of them being 
men of large experience in their profession. The college building was dedi- 
cated with appropriate services on Monday, September 23, 1872. On the 
same day the college commenced its first session under the presidency of 
Alexander Johnson, assisted by a competent corps of teachers. The beginning 
was truly flattering. After five years' experience we feel that we may confi- 
dently say that Christian College is destined, at no very distant day, to take 
rank among the first institutions on this coast. 

The college is situated on B street, in the centre of the city. The build- 
ings and grounds are worth at least thirty-five thousand dollars. Christian 
College has many warm friends throughout the Slate, and we hope to see the 
day when it will be placed on the most prosperous possible basis, by endow- 
ment. The annual commencement is largely attended from all parts of the 
State, and creates a very lively interest in the subject of education. Much of the 
prosperity of Santa Rosa is due to the two colleges located within its bounda- 

We give a list of the faculty : J. M. Martin, A. M., president ; J. M. Monroe, 
A. M , professor of languages; J. Bradshaw, A. B., professor of mathematics; 
J. Derham, A. M., professor of sciences ; A. A. Hoyt, professor in charge of 
commercial department; Mrs. Murphy, primary department; Mile. Lovet, 
teacher of French. 


The public schools of Santa constitute one of its most important inter- 
ests, and are among its chief attractions. The same salubrity of climate, 
beauty of scenery, and morality of sentiment that have been instrumental in 
building up the colleges of this city, have also produced a remarkable growth 
in its public educational facilities. 

Three years ago the schools numbered six teachers and three hundred pupils • 
to-day they contain fourteen teachers and six hundred and fifty pupils in reg- 
ular attendance. Within this time the facilities for school work have been 


greatly improved by the erection of a large and handsome building, at a cost 
of eight thousand dollars, capable of seating five hundred pupils, and furnished 
wilh the best modern furniture. The building is conveniently and comfortably 
arranged ; the ventilation is excellent, and the means of rapid egress ample in 
case of an emergency. The school apparatus is not as complete as could be 
desired ; but as much has been done in this direction zn possible, and more will 
be added as soon as the funds of the school department will admit. 

The school-grounds are well situated; the location of the east school is on 
Fourth street, in the eastern portion of the city, and that of the west school on 
Davis street, near the railroad ; the capacity of the grounds are hardly sufficient 
for the recreation of so many children. 

By the last legislature, Santa was constituted a separate Bchool-district, 
under the management of a board of education, consisting of five members. 

The present board is: F. G. Ilahman, president ; W. B. Atterbury, clerk ; C. 
G. Ames, R. A. Thompson, and R. P. Smith. 

The discipline of the .schools gives general satisfaction ; and in this respect 
the schools have gained a reputation in other sections of the State. The follow- 
ing comprise the pre.«ent corps of teachers, and their respective positions: Mel- 
ville Dozier, principal ; Mrs. Jeannie Pyatt, first assistant ; Kllis T. Crane, first 
grammar grade; William Acton and Mrs. C. H. Ballard, second grammar 
grade; John H. Burnett, third grammar grade; Miss Basha England, Miss 
Sophia Kraus, fourth grade ; Mrs. L. E. Hardy and Miss A. Swasey, first pri- 
mary grade ; Miss Flora McDonald, second primary grade ; Mrs. E. Godwin, 
third and fourtu primary grades. J. M. Kilpatrick, principal of west .school ; 
Mrs. E- F. Middleton, assistant in west school. Nearly all of these teachers 
are persons of experience in the work, and hold the highest grade certificates. 

Residents of the citv are admitted into the various departments of the schools 
between the ages of six and twenty-one, while the course of study anticipates 
the preparation of a pupil for the ordinary busine.s8 of life, or, if he desires to 
go farther, for admi.ssion into the University of the State. 

The school is kept open for ten months of the year, two terms of five months 
each, commencing, respectively, on the second Monday in January and July, 
with a brief vacation at the middle of each term. The per centage of attend- 
ance on the part of the pupils is excellent, averaging nearly ninety-five per 
cent. The whole number of pupils in attendance at the public .schools during 
the present .school year is eight hundred and thirty-five. 

The last census, taken in Jime of last year, returned one thousand and sixty- 
three children of school age in the city. The citizens of Santa Rosa have 
reason to feel gratified at the condition of the public educational interests of 
the city, and would do well to foster to the utmost this very important feature 
of their local advancement. 


Professor G. W. Jones, former superintendent of public schools, has a select 
school for boys, which maintains a high reputation as a preparatory school for 
the universities, and the patronage is limited only by its accommodation. 

Miss Chase has recently established a private school for girls. She is an 
iiccompUshed teacher, and deserves a liberal support. 



There are eight churches in Santa Rosa. The oldest organized congregation 
was the Baptist, who now have a fine church on B street, of which the Rev. S. 
A. Taft is pastor. The next oldest church is the Christian, which is situated 
on Fifth street. Elders J. Martin and J. Monroe have charge of this church. 
The Methodist Episcopal Church South is located on Fifth street, Rev. J. O. 
Branch, pastor. The Presbyterian church is also on Fifth street, Rev. F. M. 
Dimraick, pastor. The Protestant Episcopal Church is situated on Mendocino 
street, Rev. Thomas Smith, pastor. The Methodist Episcopal Church on Third 
street. Rev. Charle=i E. Rich, pastor. The Catholic Church is on Fifth street. 
Rev. P. J. Kaiser, priest in charge. There is also a church of the Seventh 
Day Adventists on Second street ; we believe they have no regular minister in 
charge. All these churches have flourishing Sunday-schools, except the 
Adventists, who hold service on Saturday. 


Santa Rosa Lodge, No. 67, F. and A. M., was chartered May 2d, 1855. The 
present officers are R. P. Smith, W. M.; E. Neblett, S. W.; A. L. Fisher, J. 
W.; D. H. Russell, S. D.; C. L. Phelps, ,J. D.; A. B. Ware, secretary; E. T. 
Farmer, treasurer; Julio Carrillo, tyler. 

Santa Rosa Chapter, No. 47 ; organized February, 1873 ; E. T. Farmer, high 
priest; E. Neblett, king; J. A. Hailman, scribe; A. L. Fisher, C. H. ; R. P. 
Smith, P. S.; P. M. Caldwell, R. A. C; R. K. Hayes, third veil; D. C. 
Nicholls, second veil ; D. H. Russell, first veil ; J. M. White, treasurer ; 
William Strom, secretary; Julio Carrillo, tyler. 

Santa Rosa Lodge, No. 53, I. O. O. F., was instituted February 28th, 1856. 
Following is a list of the present officers: A. Shepherd, N. G. ; A. Meade, V. 
G.; J. K. Smith, R. S. ; J. A. Eveleth, P. S.; C. D. Frazee, T.; S. T. Coulter, 
W.; S. W. Melcalf, C; William Strom, R. S. N. G.; T. L. Rea, L. S. N. G.; 
L. Frehe, R. S. V. G.; G. N. Savage, L. S. V. G. ; Henry Kronke, I. G.; L. 
Wilde, O. G.; D. S. Sacry, J. P. G. ; J. A. Eveleth, district deputy. 

Santa Rosa Encampment, I. O. O. F., No. 53 ; organized December 14, 1875. 
Present officers— S. T. Coulter, C. P.; J. K. Smith, H. P.; D. S. Sacry, S. W.; 
P. H. Kronke, J. W.; H. L. Howe, treasurer; C. D. Frazee, scribe; William 
Strom, guide. 

Independent Order of Good Templars.— D. S. Sacry, W. C T.; Mrs. E. 
Evans, W. R. H. S. ; Miss C. A. Cole, W. L. H. S. ; Mrs. C. M. Shepherd, W. 
V. T.; A. Shepherd,' W. S.; E. Nackley, W. F. S ; Miss Bessie Cole, W. T.; 
Miss Cornelia Mcllraoil, W. M. ; Joseph Ferguson, W. D. M.; Miss Jtnnie 
Hadcock, W. T. G.; Joseph Childers, W. O. G.; W. H. Lee, P. W. C. T.; J. 
H. Richardson, L. D. 


The Santa Rosa Library Association was organized in April, 1875, without 
a dollar of c.ipital. Judge Jackson Temple, was the first president; R. A. 
Thompson, the first vice president, and D. D. Davisson was the first secretary. 
The association rented four rooms in the Masonic Hall, and opened them in 



December, 1875. The rooms were neatly fiirni^shed, which was largely due to 
the interest taken in the matter by the pecretary, D. D. Davisson. At the 
second annual meeting, held in April, 1876, R. A. Thompson was elected pre- 
sident; A. C. McMeans, vice pre>^ident; E. T. Crane, secretary; M. Dozier, J. 
T. Pressley, Barclay Plenly, U. W. Jones, E. T. Farmer and D. D. Davisson, 
directors. J. A. (Jooper is librarian. The association has about eight hundred 
books, and all of the furniture is paid for. Most of the books are standard 
works. Santa Rosa is the seat of widely celebrated institutions of learning ; 
has a reading and cultivated population, and should have the best public 
library in the State outside of the larger cities. 


Santa Rosa Engine Company, No. 1, was organized in 1860. W. H. Crowell 
was the first president; T. L. Thompson was the first foreman, and John 
Ledwidge was the first assistant. The present officers are: C. C. Farmer, 
president ; T. L. Thompson, foreman ; C. Kessing, first assistant ; M. Wise, 
second assistant ; .Joe Richardson, treasurer, and .T. D. Doychert, secretary. 

The Santa Rosa Hook and Ladder Company was organized in 1874. A. 
Korbel was the first foreman; .J. Royal was the first assistant. The present 
oflBcers of the company are : J. Royal, foreman ; E. Rust, first assistant ; E. 
Seegelken, treasurer ; Scaimore, secretary. 


Within the past year Santa Rosa has largely increased her manufacturing 
facilities, displaying in this direction a liberality and spirit of enterprise credi- 
table to her people. 

The most important of these enterprises is the Alden Fruit Preserving Com- 
pany. It was incorporated September 29th, 1876, with a capital of one hundred 
and twenty-five thousand dollars, divided into two thousand five hundred shares, 
par value five dollars each. S. T. Coulter is president of the company, and 
W. Coker is secretary. The main building is thirty by twenty-eight feet, three 
.stories high, with an eight-foot basement. There is a wing to the main build- 
ing thirty-two by twenty feet, and a one-story building sixty by eighteen feet 
for canning fruit. The works have a capacity for drying eight tons of green 
fruit, and canning one hundred cases of two dozen each a day. The works 
employ during the season six men and fifty boys and girls. 

The Santa Rosa Boot and Shoe factory is another very important enter- 
prise. The proprietor is C. Lovejoy. The factory is situated on McDonald 
avenue — the building is neatly constructed, and is two stories high with a 
wing. The ground and upper floors are eighty by thirty feet; all the ma- 
chinery is driven by steam, the factory is complete in all its appointments, and 
when run to its full capacity will be able to supply the local demand of the 
north-coast counties for boots and shoes. 

The Santa Rosa Wine Company was organized in 1876. Following is a 
list of the officers: .Tackson R. Meyers, president, W. L. Knapp, vice-presi- 
dent, J. F. Boyce, treasurer, Rufus Murphy, secretary, John Taylor, superin- 
tendant. The lot on which the factory stands fronts two hundred and forty 


feet on the railroad, with a depth of one hundred and eighty-five feet. The 
building has a frontage of ninety-five feet, with a depth of one hundred feet, 
with wing fifty by twenty feet. It is one of the largest and most conveniently 
arranged wine factories in the State, with a capacity for working at least two 
thousand five hundred tons of grapes a year, of which one thousand tons are 
raised in the neighborhood of Santa Rosa, and any desired number of tons can 
be had by rail from the county north of the factory. They have now in casks 
about one hundred and fifty thousand gallons of wine. 

The Santa Rosa Brewery is situated on Second and Wilson streets. It pre- 
sents a very neat and business-like exterior. It was started four years ago by 
Bosen & Metzger; now owned by Joost & Metzger. Many improvements have 
since been made in the original works. The capacity of the brewery is three 
hundred and fifty barrels, or ten thousand gallons a month. Two wagons and 
five horses are kept at work. The machinery is run by horse power. 

The Carriage Manufacturing Company of Baker, Ross & Mitchell, is situated 
on Main street between First and Second. It was established in 1874. The 
building is fifty by one hundred and fifteen feet, the main central front having 
two stories ; six men are employed; Charles Bogart does the carriage painting. 

J. K. Smith Carriage and Car factory was first established in 1873 by D. C. 
NicoU; is situated on Fourth street near the railroad depot. S. S. Nowlin pur- 
chased a half interest which he sold to J. K. Smith, and the firm took the 
name of NicoU & Smith ; J. K. Smith purchased Nicholl's interest, and became 
sole proprietor. John Miller is foreman of the blacksmithing department. 
The Santa Rosa street cars were built at this establishment. 

Smith & Gulkzes' carriage manufactory is situated on Main street. This firm 
do general carriage, manufacturing and blacksmithing business. 

Santa Ro'a planing mill is situated on Wilson street, and was built in 1870 
by H. T. Hewitt. It was afterwards sold to Mr. Arnold, and by him to F. 
Korbel & Brothers, who still own it. The engine is twenty horse power, 
and the daily capacity of the mill is from seven to twelve thousand feet of 
ordinary planing work. From eight to ten hands are usually employed about 
the mill. 

The marble works of Santa Rosa are situated on Fourth street near the depot. 
Fisher & Russell are the proprietors. They do excellent work, employing 
eight men, and have extended their business out of Sonotna, into Lake, Men- 
docino and Napa counties. 

A soap factory was started in 1872 by .J. F. Filcher, who was succeeded by 
the present proprietor, J. H. Holinan. They manufacture one hundred and 
fifty boxes of soap per week, and keep two teams employed selling soap in this 
and adjoining counties. 

The Santa Rosa Mills, situated on Santa Rosa avenue, south of the iron bridge, 
were established about fifteen years ago by William Hood. They are now 
owned by Baker & fShaw. The building is a large wooden one, the centre 
being two stories and a half, and having a wing on each side about seventy-five 
feet in length, with a basement story. There are three runs of stone— two for 
wheat, and one for making corn-meal, graham flour, and ground feed. The 


mill is run by an engine of fifty horse power, and the capacity of the mills 
about fifty barrels in twelve hours. Five men are generally employed. 

Empire Mills are located on the railroad between Sixth and Seventh streets* 
The mill proper is a three story V)rick building, and adjoining ia the ware 
house « one story brick building, having a storage capacity of thirty thousand 
tons of wheat. This building was erected some years ago, at a cost of thirty- 
seven thousand dollars. It was built by Dr. Dobbins, and sold by him to Mr. 
John Mcllmoil, and a half interest afterwards bought by Mr. Stoddard. S. S. 
Nowlin bought the interest of Mr. Mcllmoil. The<e mills have three runs of 
stone for wheat, and one for corn, barley, etc., and have all the latest and beat 
improved machinery for making "A. No. 1" flour. Their capacity ia one hun- 
dred barrels in twelve hours, and six men are generally employed about them. 

The Golden Eagle Foundry and Machine Shops, owned by M. E. Shuite, 
situated on Fifth street, we^t of the railroad, were established in December 1874. 
The buildings are plain but substantial, and suitable to the business. Here are 
cas' all sorts of agricultural implements, irons for bridge work, and iron and 
bras.s castings ; iron fronts for buildings, and stoves. In connection with the 
foundry and machine shop, there is also a shop in which patterns are made, 
and another in which general blacksmithing is done. An engine of forty horse 
power is used in these works. Mr. H. F. Shuite is foreman, and generally haa 
emploj'ed about six men. 

Besides the manufacturing establishments we have enumerated, there is a 
furniture factory, candy factories, a soda wafer factory, a glove factory, cigar 
factory, a box factory, a tannery, a pork packing house, etc., etc. The machin- 
ery for a woolen mill is already here, a lot has been secured, and before this 
notice is put to press the mill will most likely be in operation, or at all events 
well under way. 

There is also an old established and succe-ssfully worked pottery, which we 
neglected to mention in the proper place. 


The Santa Rosa Water Works were incorporated in January, 1873, with 
$100,000 capital. On the lat of May active operations were commenced. The 
water is taken from the Santa Rosa creek, about live miles from Santa Rosa. 
It is led in seven-inch pipe one and a-quarter miles to a reservoir. In the fall 
of the year of organization the water was brought to the city and distributed 
through the town. 

In 1875 a majority of the sto<5k of the company was purcha.sed by Mark L. 
McDonald, of San Francisco. 

In the latter part of 1876, Jackson R. Myers purchased an interest in ihe 
company, and became the manager. It was determined to erect a new reservoir 
about half a mile below the old one. The work was completed in the spring 
of 1877, and it is one of the best constructed and arranged reservoirs in the 
State. It is about ei);hteen hundred feet long, and is six hundred feet wide, 
and when full will have a depth of twenty-four feet, affording an abundant 
supply of pure mountain water for the people of the city, and also a safeguard 
against conflagration. To the capital and enterprise of Mark McDonald, and 


good judgment of Mr. Myers, the people are indebted fur that greatest of all 
blessings — a cheap and bountiful supply of water. Mr. McDonald, by hia 
public spirit, has inseperably connected his name with the city of Santa Bosa. 


The Maxim Gas Company was incorporated April, 1872, the citizens of 
Santa Rosa taking one-half the stock, and Maxim Gas Company, of San 
San Francisco, holding the balance. They erected a brick building on Fifth street 
near Mendocino, and laid about four thousand feet of mains. The citizens 
subsequently bought all the stock and ran the Maxim works until the spring 
of 1876, when they were sold to the new company, formed under the name of 
the Santa Rosa Gas Light Company, incorporated March 9, 1876, under L. A. 
Kelly's supervision. The company put up, at an expense of thirty thousand 
dollars, one of the finest and most complete set of coal-gas works on this coast. 
The new works are located on First street, just below Main, and consist of 
a large brick retort house, with iron roof, brick purifying house in the rear, 
office and workshop, with large holder, twenty thousand cubic feet capacity, 
with brick cistern. They have six-inch pipe running from their retorts' 
all through the works, and up First and Main streets to the plaza, about two 
thousand feet, when it connects with four-inch pipe. The new company have 
laid about eight thousand feet of mains the last year, and expect to lay fifteen 
thousand feet this year, and as much main as is necessary to keep pace with 
the rapid growth of the town. Mr. Kelly said, when building the works, that 
he would build with capacity for supplying a town of fifteen thousand inhab- 
itants without having to make any change, and expected to live and see them 
run to their complete and full capacity. The officers of the company are : 
John C. Paxton, president; E. T, Farmer, vice president; John Ager, 
secretary ; L. A. Kelly, superintendent. 


This company was organized in 1877, and the capital invested in it was 
mainly furnished by Mark McDonald. The builder of the road and manager 
of the company is Jackson R. Myers. The route is two miles in length, lead- 
ing up Fourth street from the depot to McDonald avenue, and out the avenue 
to the cemetery. The cost of the road was about $10,000. 


There are between forty and fifty miles of street in Santa Rosa. They range 
from fifty to eighty feet in width ; the side- walks are from eight to twenty feet 
in width. Both streets and side-walks are macadamized with coarse gravel. 
Fourth street is a mile and a half long; it is the principal business street, pass- 
ing along the north side of the plaza. Sonoma avenue is on the south side of 
Santa Rosa creek, in E. T. Farmer's addition. It is eighty feet wide, and 
will extend in a short time for three miles. It will eventually become a fash- 
ionable drive and promenade. 


McDonald Aventje. — This is one of the leading streets in Santa Rosa. It 
was laid out through a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of land lying on 
the border of the city, purchased by Col. Mark L. McDonald, of San Francisco, 
It is beautifully diversified with clusters of oaks. The soil is extremely fer- 
til-e, and the tract has been subdivided into town and villa lots. The avenue 
is handsomely laid out with broad drives, and side-walks, along which, on 
either side, are rows of eucalyptus trees. Its length is a little short of one 
mile, leading into Fourth, the principal thoroughfare and business street of the 
city. A street railway runs from the San Francisco and North Pacific Rail- 
road depot, up Fourth street, into and through McDonald avenue, where it 
terminates. 'Ihe cars run every few minutes, aflbrding the utmost facilities for 
the accommodation of residents of that part of the city. The i)roi)rietor of 
these grounds has spared no pains to make it the most desirable and beautiful 
portion of this most beautiful of cities — Santa Eosa. 

Gas and water pipes are laid through the avenue, uniting all the conveni- 
ences of city life with pure air and rural scenery. The landscape gardener 
now smoothes dow.n the furrows of the fields, and the builder marks out his 
foundations upon ground over which, but a short time ago, the ripe grain bent 
before the wanton summer breeze. 

It is not too much to say that, by his liberal investments, Mr. McDonald has 
given a further impetus to the rapid growth of Santa Rosa, and deserves the 
good wishes of all the citizens of this growing city and those who sojourn upon 
its borders. 


The first number of this paper was issued in Santa Rosa, on the 16th of 
October, 1857, by A. \V. Russell. August 20, 1858, Russell sold to K R. 
Budd and S. H. Fowler. November 12, 1858, Fowler retired, and was suc- 
ceeded by B. F. Pinkham. In April, 1860, the Democrat was purchased by T. 
L. Thompson, who became sole proprietor. Mr. T. L. Thompson is one of the 
oldest, and has the reputation of being one of the most energetic and successful 
publishers in the State. The success of the Democrat entitles him to that distinc- 
tion. It is a quarto, of ten pages, containing each week not less than two 
hundred and thirty thousand ems, of which one-half is miscellaneous, local 
and editorial matter. In 1868 Mr. Thompson disposed of the paper to Pea- 
body, Ferrall & Co. He re-purchased it in the summer of 1871, since which 
time R. A. Thompson and F. P. Thompson have been actively associated with 
him in the editorial and business depirtments of the paper. The Democrat 
has been a staunch advocate of the interests of this portion of the State, and 
e-<pecially of liie city of Santa Rosa. It has received a liberal support from 
the generous and appreciative people of Sonoma coimty. It has a large circu- 
lation in northwest California, and sends not less than five hundred papers to 
subscribers in the Eastern States, which, of itself, is equal to the average circu- 
lation of most county newspapers. It may not be out of place here to state 
that the combined circulation of the three oldest papers of Sonoma county is 
larger, in proportion to population, than in any county in the United States, 
according to Rowell's Newspaper Directory. The Danocrat is printed on a 


steam-power press, and is equipped with a job office complete in all its appoint- 

The Santa Rosa Daily Democrat was started in July, 1875, T. L. Thompson, 
proprietor ; R. A. and T. L. Thompson, editors. The Daily Democrat has an 
increasing business, and labors zealously in the interests of Santa Rosa. It is 
published every afternoon from the Democrat building, on Exchange street, 
and contains the latest telegraphic reports from all parts of the world, up to 
the hour of going to press. 


The Santa Rosa Press was started in 1874 by William A. Wheeler. It waa 
published irregularly until December, 1875, when the material was purchased 
by G. H. Marr, who changed the name to the Santa Rosa Times, and has since 
continued the publication. The Times is Republican in politics, and receives 
a liberal support. Mr. Marr, the editor and proprietor, is an experienced 
newspaper man, and makes a readable and interesting journal. He has always 
exhibited a lively interest in all that would advance the welfare of Santa Rosa. 
The Times is published every Thursday morning ; the publication rooms are 
on Fourth street. There is also a job office connected with the paper, in which 
excellent work of all kinds is executed. 


Fulton is a flourishing town on the San Francisco and North Pacific Rail- 
road. It lies five miles north of Santa Rosa, and is the terminus of the branch 
railroad to Guerneville. This road was built in 1876, and makes Fulton a very 
lively railroad centre. 

The town was laid off in 1871 by Thomas and James Fulton, from whom it 
takes its name, two of the most worthy of the adopted sons of Sonoma. The 
town has one hotel, one variety, and one grocery store, one butcher shop, two 
blacksmith's shops, two saloons, one grain warehouse, one boot and shoe shop, 
and one freight and passenger depot. The postmaster is Thomas Fulton ; ex- 
press agent, C. H. Bean. The annual shipments of produce are about 9,000 
cords of wood, about 1,000 cords of tan-bark, 150 car loads of charcoal, and 
large quantities of lumber, wheat, fruit, butter, and general farm products. 


The village of Windsor is located on the main county-road leading from 
Santa Rosa to Healdsburg, nine miles northwest from Santa Rosa and six 
miles southeast of Healdsburg ; it is within less than a mile of the San Fran- 
cisco and North Pacific Railroad. 

The first we hear of Windsor as a town, or rather as a local habitation with 
a name, was in 1854, when a post-office was established, to which the first 
postmaster, Hiram Lewis, gave the name of Windsor, perhaps after Windsor 
park or forest — as the place was surrounded on all sides by trees, which gave 
it a park-like appearance. In 1857 Lewis sold it to Thad. Deshier. A 
man named Emmerson opened the first hotel, known as the Windsor hotel. 
The place is now owned (and is run as a hotel) by Thomas Hopkins. The 


first physician in the place was Dr. Wilson, who sold out to Dr. Davis, the 
only physician now in Windsor. 

The first store was opened by a man named Buckalew, in 1856, on the lot 
where William Clark's dwelling how standu. About the same time Davis W. 
Graham started a blacksmith-shop. In 1857 Rosenberg & Linhemen bought the 
store. In 1861 Rosenberg & Bros, succeeded this firm, and built a large store- 
house, and kept it until 1870. They were succeeded by Kelsy & Livingston, 
who closed the business. The house is still used by T. J. Hopkins for a store. 
Kruse & Petray opened the second f-tore in Windsor, in 1865, in a house which 
they built near where H. H. LaflTerty's shoe-shop now stands. Harrison 
Barnes bought Kruse's interest, and sold out in 1867 to Crane, Hendley & Co., 
who were succeeded by Northcutt & Co., and they by Clark & Lindsay. The 
latter firm commenced business in 1871, and still continue. 

H. H. Laflerty slarted a shoe-shop in 1864, and still remains in the same 
])lace. In March, 1868, the town was located as a town-site under the State 
law. It was surveyed in October, 1868, by Henry Terry. There are five 
stores and groceries in the town, two butcher-shops, one saloon, one saddle 
and harnes.s-sho[), one shoe-shop, two wheelwrights, two blacksmiths, one tin- 
shop, one hotel, one physician, one painter, one boarding-house, one school- 
house, one Ma.sonic and one I. O. O. F. hall, one church; there are in all 
about twenty business-houses, thirty residences, and a total population of about 
two hundred and fifty souls. J. J. Lindsay is postmaster; W. Clark is Wells, 
Fargo & Co.'s agent; T. J. Jones and Thomas McQuestion are justices of the 


Healdsburg is beautifully located on Russian river, near the confluence, of 
Dry creek with that river. The town is built upon a gravelly plateau, lying 
between rich valleys ; Russian River valley on the east, and Dry Creek valley 
on the west. 

The most striking feature of the landscape near Healdsburg is Sotoyome, 
sometimes less appropriately called Fitch mountain. It is a shapely, isolated 
hill, around the base of which Russian river winds a tortuous course, as if 
reluctant to leave the flowery and beautiful valley to mingle its waters with 
the sea. 

On an air line, Healdsburg is about sixty-five miles north of San Francifco ; 
it lies a little west of north of that city, and is by railroad about thirty-five 
miles north of Pelaluma, and is fifteen miles northerly from Santa Rosa. It is 
near the centre of the widely famed Russian River valley, upon land formerly 
included within the bounds of the Sotoyome grant, owned by Henry D. Fitch. 

There were a few settlers in the valley in 1847, among them were the Fitchs', 
the Pinas', Cyrus Alexander, Frank BuJwell, the Gordons', Mose Carson and 
W. J. March. Among the earliest settlers, after the discovery of gold, was 
Lindsay Carson, T. W. Hudson and family, H. M. Willson and family, the 
Healds, — the first to coftie was Harmon G. Heald — J. G. McManus, E. H. 
Barnes, William Walters, Valentine Miller, A. B. Aull, H. P. Matheson, 
Aaron Hassett, John Hassett, Isaac Staly, J. C. Laymance, A. Ruaak, and 


others whose names we cannot at this moment recall. There was an English- 
man of some notoriety who settled above March's mill, in 1851, named Frank 
Maryatt. He afterward published in book-form some very interesting remi- 
niscences of his life on Russian river, under the the title of " Mountain and 
Mole-hill, or Recollections of a Burnt Journal." 


The people in that section did not crystalize around a centre until 1856, 
when the town of Healdsburg was laid off by Harmon G. Heald, who pur- 
chased the tract from the estate of H. D. Fitch. Among the first to give it a 
start, were Heald, Mitchell and Hooper. In 1857 the first post-office, which 
had been called Russian River, was changed to Healdsburg. H. G. Heald and 
H. M. Willson started a store, a man by the name of Moore a blacksmith shop, 
and Heald and Harris a hotel. Thus Healdsburg had its start, and grew 

On the 20th day of November, 1857, the population was reported at five 
hundred. There were two brick stores erected by Mr. Rathburn, an academy 
building for one hundred and twenty-five students, a fire company, with en- 
gines and ladders, a Masonic hall. Sons of Temperance and concert hall, three 
livery stables, a paint shop, a billiard saloon, and twenty business houses, — in all 
about one hundred and twenty houses. 

Healdsburg, from its location and surrounding salubrious climate and many 
material advantages, would have soon grown to be a town of the first import- 
ance, but for the unsettled condition of land titles, which retarded its progress. 
The land was owned by absentees who had bought up the original Spanish 
titles on speculation. A large number of persons came into the valley and 
settled upon these lands just as they would have done on public land. The 
efforts made to dispossess them led to the so-called squatter war, of which 
Healdsburg was the seat. It lasted for about seven years, and at one time 
more than a thousand men were arrayed upon either side. Captain L. A. Nor- 
ton was agent for most of the land owners, and by a wise and liberal policy 
sold the squatters at reasonable rates and on a long time, the land which they 
had improved, and thus gradually put an end to this great obstacle in the road 
of progress. 

We have here space only for a glance at the past history of Healdsburg. 
In 1867 the town was incorporated under the law of the State, as it then ex- 
isted. A board of trustees was elected, and L. A. Norton was the first presi- 
dent of the board. A full list of trustees and other town officers, from the 
first board down the present, will elsewhere be found in this book. In 1874 
a special law was passed, incorporating under a charter the present city of 

The population of Healdsburg is about two thousand five hundred. The 
people are enterprising and public-spirited, always ready when called upon to 
promote the interests of the city or the surrounding country. 

Great interest has always been taken in education by the people of Healds- 
burg. There are two excellent private academies ; the Alexander Institute and 
the Butler Academy, Both are conducted with marked ability, and give great 


satisfaction to those who patronize them. There is a very commodious public 
school building, with an efficient corps of teachers, at which there is a daily 
attendance of more than three hundred and twenty-five students. The prin- 
cipal of the public school is O. S. Ingram, A.M., and his assistants are Miss 
Peterson, Miss Beck, Miss Gales, Miss Givena and Miss Allen. There are also 
several excellent private schools in the town. 

There is one bank and five hotels, all well patronized, sorfte of which make 
a specialty of receiving guests for the summer, who come up from the cold and 
(lust-laden atmosphere of the metropolis, to spend the summer months in the 
delightful climate of Healdsburg. There are fifteen dry-goods and grocery 
stores; three drug stores ; six blacksmith and wagon shops; one paint manu- 
factory; one flour mill; one planing-mill, sash and door factory ; two lumber 
yards; one glove factory; two tanneries; one patent knitting establishment, 
and one soap factory. 

The history of newspapers in Healdsburg has been varied and interesting. 

In January, 1S60, the pioneer publisher, A J. Cox, issued the Review, and 
continued the publication somewhat irregularly until 18G3, when it suspended 

In May, 1864, Fenno & Warren commenced the Advertiser, with Mr. Cox 
as editor. It suspended ; was revived in 1865 with .J. E. Fenno aa publisher, 
and Mr. Cox as editor. Its revival was but the flickering of the light in the 
socket, which preceded the total extinction of the Advertiser. 

On the 7th day of October, 1865, the first number of the Uemocratic Standard 
was issued in Healdsburg. It was published by W. R. Morris and W. A. C. 
Smith, under the firm name of W. E. Morris & Co. 

On the 3d of October, 1866, Mr. Morris became sole proprietor, and a few 
weeks after transferred a half interest to .J. B. Fitch. 

In January, 1867, Mr. Filcli became solo proprietor, and a month later sold 
out to Boggs & Menefee. A few weeks later AJr. Boggs retired, W. A. C. 
Smith taking his place, and the firm became Menefee & Co. 

In the winter of 1867-8 the oflice was again transferred to Fitch & Davis. 

In the fall of 1868 the material and good-will of the paper were sold to John 
G. Howell, and it was suspended. Mr. Howell immediately commenced the 
publication of the Russian River Flag, which still survives, a credit to the city 
of Healdsburg and its publisher, L. A. Jordon. The Flay has always been 
Republican in politics, and its first editor, J. G. Howell, gave it high rank aaa 
local paper, and impressed his individuality on its editorial columns. 

In 1876 Mr. Plowell sold the paper to .Jordon Bros., Mr. L. A. .Jordon suc- 
ceeding as sole proprietor. The paper is under the editorial control of S. P. 
Mead and L. A. Jordon, and is an able, well conducted and influential journal. 
The Flag has been an important factor in the growth of Healdsburg, and we 
liope the proprietor will reap the rich reward for his labor which is so justly 
Ills due. 

The Healdsburg Enterprise was started in the spiing of 1876 by Mulgrew 
Bros. & Wood. It has achieved a remarkable and well-deserved success. It 
is Democratic in politics. The Enterprise seemed, from its inception, to make 
a specialty of promoting the local interests of Healdsburg, and it has ever 


since labored efficiently and effectively in this field. It is well and carefully 
edited — typographically it shows the supervision of an experienced printer. 
Unlike the early journalistic ventures in Healdsburg, the Enterprise was a 
success from its first issue. It was bravely launched, and may prosperous 
breezes continue to swell its sails. 

There are seven churches in Healdsburg: one Methodibt; one Methodist 
South ; one Ptesbyterian ; one Baptist ; one Christian ; one Catholic ; one 

There is one Masonic lodge; one Lodge of Odd Fellows; one Lodge of 
Good Templars, and one Grange. The Odd Fellows and the Masons have each 
a hall that would do credit to a city of greater population than Healdsburg. 
The Grange is by far the most prosperous in the county. They have a large 
hall, beneath which is a co-operative store, patronized not only by Grangers, 
but by many people of Healdsburg who do not belong to the Grange. The 
Grange numbers among its members many of the most enterprising and in- 
telligent citizens of Russian River valley, 

Healdsburg has for its source of wealth, first, the rich agricultural lands 
which surround it. Nothing can surpass the fertility of the soil of Russian 
River and Dry Creek Valleys. In the virgin state, under favorable circum- 
stances, they would produce one hundred bushels of wheat or corn to the acre. 
The fertility has been maintained nearly at its maximum by the annual 
overflow of the streams, which brings down a rich alluvial mold, fertilizing 
the land as the delta of the Nile is fertilized. Fortunately this rich land is 
cut up into small farms from twenty to one hundred acres each, which fact 
adds greatly to the prosperity of the town of Healdsburg. 

There is neither extreme cold in winter nor heat in summer in the town 
which is protected from the harshness of the summer winds by the hills upon 
the west, and the winter climate is moderated by that great equalizer of tem- 
perature — the sea — with its warm current sweeping from Asia to the northwest 
coast of America, whence it turns southward, and materially affects the climate 
on the coast of California. 

The town is well supplied with water of the finest quality. It can be ob- 
tained in wells, pure and soft as rain water, at no great depth below the surface. 
Besides this, water is brought to the town from Sotoyome mountain, which we 
have before mentioned. A bold, limpid and sparkling spring flows from the 
bosom of that shapely hill as if Nature designed it for the special use of the 
fortunate people who were in the future to found a city at its base. The 
water from this spring supplies the town for domestic purposes, and has a 
eufiicient fall to be used efl'ectively in case of fire. 

Healdsburg is built on gravely soil, and to this fact the town is indebted for 
its excellent streets and drives, which do not get dusty in summer or muddy 
in winter. There are a number of places o/ interest near the town. The 
noted Geyser springs are but sixteen miles away. Litton Springs, a popular 
and fashionable summer resort, is not more than four miles distant. At the 
head of Dry creek are the widely-celebrated Skaggs' springs, which are crowded 
every summer with visitors. The quicksilver mines of Sonoma are in easy 
reach of Healdsburg; the Sousal mines are but seven miles; the Oakland is 


sixteen miles northeast, and the Great Eastern and Mount Jackson mines, 
whose business place is Healdsburg, are sixteen miles southwest. 

Want of space prevents us from writing more of this beautiful city. The 
subject grows on us, and we leave it with regret. 


Grapes, boxes 6,700 

Dried fruit, pounds 138,600 

Green " " 84,150 

Miscellaneous mdse, pounds 171^765 

Vegetables, " 138,980 

AVool, " 148,867 

Tan bark, " 80,000 

Hops, " 36,250 

Hides and tallow, " 69,700 

Wine, gallons 10,732 

Grain, tons.... 1,245 

Lumber, feet 187,500 

Leather, sides 5,880 

Flour, barrels 646 

Live stock, cars 252 

Poultry, coops 131 

Wood, cords 92 

Eggs, boxes 44 

Quicksilver, flasks 322 


Geyserville is a village and post-office on the San Francisco and North 
Pacific Railroad, about twenty-four miles north of the county-seat, Santa Rosa. 
It was settled by Dr. Elisha Ely in 1851. The first business-house was a store 
started in 1854 by Colonel A. C Godwin, who afterwards located the Geyser 
springs. Colonel Godwin went east in 1861, and was killed in the civil war. 

At present there is one store in the village, one and express-office, one 
saloon, one hotel, and one blacksmith-shop. The hill-land about Geyserville 
is well adapted to fruit-culture, especially to the growth of wine-grapes. It 
would not surprise us if the wines of that section would become famous. There 
is every essential in soil and climate for the growth of the best varieties of 
grapes, stone and seed fruits. 


Far up the valley, where the hills draw together, with Russian river flowing 
between, is snugly nestled the town of Cloverdale. It is a few miles south of 
the northern boundary of the county. North of Cloverdale for one hundred 
miles on the waters of Russian river and its tributaries, there are a series of 
small, beautiful and fertile valleys, separated by spurs from the main range, 
which extend a.s bluflfs to the river, and link the valleys as a chain. The hills 


back of the river are in the main bare of trees, and produce an abundant grass 
crop, upon which thousands of sheep are kept. These hills and valleys form 
a portion of the back-country of Cloverdale. The Indians remained long 
about the mouth of Sulphur creek, and up that stream as far as the Geysers, 
receding only when the ever-increasing pressure of the white race forced 
them back. 

In 1856 R. Markle and a man named M'iller purchased eight hundred and 
fifty acres of land, which included the present site of the town of Cloverdale. 
The first merchant north of Geyserville was a man named Levi Rosenburg. 
He had a store on the east side of the river, near the mouth of Sulphur creek. 
In 1857 J. H. Hartman and F. G. Hahman, pioneer merchants of Santa Rosa, 
conceived the idea of opening a trading-post at Markle's place, which was on 
the main highway to Ukiah and Humboldt, if a pack-trail can be properly 
termed a " highway." The store was opened under the firm-name of Hart- 
man & Hahman, and about the same time Markle opened a tavern for the ac- 
commodation of travelers and pack-trains. Thus originated the town of Clo- 
verdale. It was situated in a beautiful semi-circular valley, covered with clo- 
ver, and Mr. Hartman gave it the appropriate name of Cloverdale, which it 
fortunately yet retains. Mrs. Markle was the first woman who settled in the 
new town, or rather, who settled there before there was a town. She is said, 
by those who knew her, to have been remarkably pretty — a peculiarity for 
which her successors of the fairer sex in Cloverdale are still noted. 

In 1859 J. A. Kleiser purchased the interest of R. B. Markle in the land, 
and the town was laid off. Hartman & Hahman sold out to Levi & Co. Others 
came in, but the town grew slowly. It slept, as it were, in its cradle for a de- 
cade, when one day it was awakened by the scream of the iron-horse, which 
halted on its threshold. Lots went up, and expectations (not to be gratified in 
the near future) led to over-speculation in town lots and land ; a re-action set 
in, from which the place has recently recovered, and it has commenced a steady 
and healthy growth. Cloverdale is a center from which stage-roads branch 
out in many directions : first, the principal (and easiest) route to the Geyser 
springs starts from Cloverdale ; these springs are but sixteen miles distant from 
the town. There is also a daily stage line to Lakeport, and from there to the 
celebrated Bartlett springs, and a daily line of stages to Ukiah — and, through 
Anderson valley, to the Navarra ridge, in Mendocino county — both of which 
lead through a rich and soon to be thickly-settled country. From Cloverdale 
to San Francisco the distance is about eighty-five miles. Trains of the San 
Francisco and North Pacific Railroad leave Cloverdale twice every day for 
the city, and return there at 12 m. and 8 p. m. every day. 

Russian River valley, in the neighborhood of Cloverdale, can nowhere be 
surpassed for beauty and salubrity of climate. Its soil is fertile, and the river 
bottom lands are well adapted to the growth of hops. The hill land in this 
section of the county is well suited to grape-culture. Here is combined that 
geniality of soil and climate essential for the production of a light and highly- 
flavored wine. 

In the town there are about a dozen stores, two good hotels, and the usual 
number of other business places. The public-school building is well construe- 


ted, and pre8ents, with its shade of native oaka, a very attractive appearance. 
There is a ("ongregational church, of which J. W. Alherton is pastor, and a 
Methodist Church South, W. P. Andrews, pastor. There is an I. O. O. F. and 
a Masonic lodge, and a Grange, which hold regular meetings. 

The Cloverdale water works supply the town with water for all demands, 
with sufficient head to be effective in case of fire. There are a number of very 
neat residences in the town, more in proportion than in most places of no 
greater population. Among the best are the houses of I. E. Shaw, H. Kier, 
.1. F. Iloadley, and the pioneer, J. A. Kleiser. The town has a thrifty and 
healthy look. It boasts of one newspaper, an excellent local journal. The 
population is about seven hundred. 

The town was incorporated by special act of the legislature of 1875-6. Fol- 
lowing is a list of the city and township officers : J. A. Kleiser, G. V. Davis, 
John Fields, M. W. King, .John Dixon, trustees; D. B.Morgan, clerk and re- 
corder ; W. J. McCracken, marshall ; D. C. Brush and D. B. Morgan, justices 
of the peace, and .1. Shores, constable. 

In the spring of 1872 W. J. Bowman started the Cloverdale Review, the first 
paper in that town. After a few issues he abandoned the enterpri.«e. Soon 
after, J. B. Baccus commenced the publication of the Cloverdale Bee, which 
he continued for about six months, and then removed the material of the paper 
to Lakeport, and commenced the publication of the Lakeport^ee, an excellent 
journal, which still continues. 

In November, 1876, the Cloverdale News was started by W. S. Walker ; after 
issuing several nimibers Mr. Walker sold his interest to J. F. Hoadley, and 
the paper is now under the editorial control of J. F. Iloadley, .Jr. Mr. 11. is 
young in the business, but makes a very readable paper, which will bear its 
full share in the future development of the interests of the city of Cloverdale 
and the surrounding country. 


Dry hides .' 1,437 

Green " 874 64,954 

Wool, bales 4,218 

" .] " : 1,200 1,510,631 

Hops,' bales 1,630 327,201 

Quicksilver 101,536 

Tallow, packages 353 20,080 

Poultry, dozen 3,920 296,000 

Eggs, dozen 47,000 94,000 


In 1855 J. H. P. Morris took up a claim of one hundred and twenty acres, 
where the town of Seliastopol now stands ; he was the first settler. Mr. Morris 
came to Sonoma in 1S53; he was in business for a while at Miller A Walker's 
store on the road just south of the present town, then known as the Bodega 
post-office. Miller & Walker's store was quite a noted place from 1849 up to 
1854, as it was the post-office for all the coast and Kussian Kiver country, as far 


north as population extended ; J. N. Miller was the postmaster. Mr. Morris 
moved a building from Miller & Walker's to his claim, and put it where Ben 
Dougherty's house stands. The same year he deeded John Dougherty a lot to 
move his store, which stood on the Levi Johnson place, to his claim. So the 
town took a start. Mr. Morris called it Pine Grove, — a more appropriate 
name than that which it now bears. The formidable name of Sebastopol orig- 
inated in this way: a man named JefF Stevens and a man named Hibbs had a 
fight ; Hibbs made a quick retreat to Dougherty's store ; Stevens in pursuit. 
Dougherty stopped Stevens, and forbid him to come on his (Dougherty's) prem- 
ises. The Crimean war was raging at that time, and the allies were beseiging 
Sebastopol, which it was thought they would not take. The Pine Grove boys, 
who were always keen to see a fight, — chagrined at the result, — cried out that 
Dougherty's store was Hibbs' Sebastopol. The affair was much talked about 
and from this incident the town took its name. 

Captain A user started the first hotel where Wilson's exchange now is ; John 
Bowman bought out Auser, and the late Henry Wilson succeeded him in 1859. 
Sebastopol is eight miles west of Santa Rosa, on the west edge of Santa Rosa 
valley, — at the foot of the low divide, between Santa Rosa and Green valley. 
It has a delightful climate, and the view of the valley and Mayacmas range, 
from the hills back of the town, is beautiful. Some day it will become a pop- 
ular place for villa residences. 

The Lafayette Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was installed .January 
8, 1855, — B. F. Branscom is worshipful master, and G. W. Sanborn is secretary. 
The lodge owns a commodious hall over the Presbyterian church. The Cum- 
berland Presbyterian Church, known as the Sebastopol congregation, was 
organized in 1851, and was known as the Bodega congregation ; the pas- 
tor in charge is R. P. Lemon. The Methodist Church was organized in 1866. 
The pastor of the Green Valley Church holds service twice a month in the 
church at Sebastopol. 

The merchants of Sebastopol are J. Dougherty, Wilton & Andrews, H. Alt- 
mark and G. H. Stowell. There is also a livery stable, kept by B. B. Berry ; 
a hotel, butcher-shop, blacksmith-shop and two physicians. There is a 
literary society, a temperance society, and a Grange of the Patrons of Hus- 
bandry, with thirty members, which was instituted in 1873. The present pop- 
ulation of the town is two hundred and fifty. 


Forrestville is situated twelve miles northwest of Santa Rosa, on the border 
of the timber country, in what is known as Green valley. The Guernville 
branch of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad JDasses within one and 
a half miles of the town. It was first settled by A. J. Forrester, now in San 
Louis Obispo county, from whom it takes its doubly-appropriate name. A 
great many persons who live in Forrestville find employment cutting cord- 
wood and tan-bark for the San Francisco market ; besides there is a good 
market in the surrounding country for posts, pickets, fence-rails, Ac. There 
is a graded public-school in the town of ninety-two scholars, taught bv John 


Scott; a Methodist Episcopal Church of sixty members ; and near the town 
the Adventists have a comfortable house of worship. There is a general store 
kept by J. C. Bonsall, one blacksmith-shop kept by Oliver <fe Harbine, one 
hotel, one saloon, one butcher-shop, and one wagon-maker. 


The chief industry in P'orrestville is the Rustic-Chair Factory now owned 
and run by .John Ilamlett. There is quite a little history connected with this 
enterprise, which will not be out of place here. Over twenty-five years ago 
Major Isaac Sullivan, in Green valley, made the first rustic chairs, and sold 
them at five dollars apiece; they are still in use, and are doing good service. 
The factory for the manufacture of these chairs as a specialty, wa.s started by 
S. Faudre on Russian river, three miles from Forrestville. He continued the 
business for five or six years, selling chairs from two to three dollars apiece. 
He then moved the factory to Forrestville, where it has been for the past ten 
years. Faudre made at Forre?tvilIe about thirty thousand chairs, and sold out 
to S. P. Nowlin, who ran it at a lively rate for six years, making and selling 
during that time over sixty-five thousand chairs. He then sold to the present 
proprietor, Mr. Hamlelt, who is making and selling about twelve thousand 
chairs a year. 

The material used in the manufacture of these chairs is the chestnut or 
tan-bark oak, which we have elsewhere described, and ash. Out of these 
woods the posts and rounds are made; the backs are made of alder and fir; 
the bottoms of raw-hide cut into narrow stripes, and interlaced when wet and 
pliable. Tn drying, the hide draws taut, making an indestructible bottom. 
The rounds are turned green, and kiln-dried until seasoned. The pi sts are 
turned green, are steamed bent, and worked before they dry out, so that when 
mortised, bored and drawn together with tlie seasoned rounds and backs, the 
post seasons on the rounds, and it is not possible to take them apart withoiit 
splitting the posts from the back or round. The raw-hide bottom is put on 
last, and binds the whole frame still more firmly. 

These chairs are disposed of in a manner peculiar to this factory. They 
are loaded in four-horse wagons, from two to four hundred chairs to the load, 
and are hauled all over the State of California and Nevada. They have been 
hauled to Yreka, Honey Lake, Valley, in fact, to every town in the 
State where a wagon can get. South they have been sent, on wagons, to San 
Bernadino, up Owen's river to White Pine and Elko; a great many were .sold 
at Gold Hill and in Virginia City. Some of these sea-soned chairs were shipped 
to Colorada and to Tucson, in New Mexico, where they sold as high as eight 
dollars apiece. The price was generally regulated by the distance hauled, 
the scarcity of lumber and the amount of coin in sight. The object was to make 
the chairs net the manufacturer eighteen dollars per dozen. As an exempli- 
fication of the benefits of manufactures, we will state that this chair factory 
alone has brought into the county not less than two hundred and fifty thousand 



Guerneville is a lumber manufacturing village in the Russian River red- 
woods, and situated about sixteen miles northwest of Santa Rosa. It was first 
settled on the 1st of May, 1860, by R. B. Lunsford. It is located on the bank 
of Russian river, on what is known as Big Bottom. Here stood the finest body 
of timber in the'State ; the bottom is about four miles long, and was covered 
by a dense growth of mammoth redwood trees, which, in the best localities, 
would yield at least eight hundred thousand feet of lumber to the acre. The 
largest tree in the bottom measured eigiiteen feet in diameter, and made one 
hundred and eighty thousand feet of lumber. The tallest tree was three 
himdred and forty-four feet nine inches in height. There was a hollow stump 
which stood just above the town, in which twenty horses could readily stand. 
An estimate of the timber in the Big Bottom appears elsewhere. 

Heald & Guern's saw and planing-mill is located in the town. It employs 
about sixty men, and cuts between three and four million feet of lumber a year, 
making mouldings, brackets, scroll work, &c. Murphy Bros.' saw and planing- 
mill is located half a mile from the town ; it cuts from twenty to twenty-five 
thousand feet a day, and employs about forty men. R. B. Lunsford's shingle- 
mill, near by, cuts from fifteen to twenty-five thousand shingles a day. 

There is one general merchandise store in the town, one grocery store, one 
market, one boot and shoemaker, two hotels and one restaurant, one livery 
stable, one blacksmith shop and one wagon shop, one church, one public school, 
one lodge, (Enterprise, No. 356 of Independent Good Templars), and one chair- 
factory, run by S. W. Faudre. J. W. Bagley is postmaster. A branch of the 
San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad runs from Fulton on the main 
trunk to Guernville. This road has just been completed, and connects the 
great Central valley of Sonoma county with the timber section. This affords 
a fine opportunity for tourists to see the redwood trees of Sonoma, second only 
in size to the mammoths of Calaveras. Four miles from Guernville, Mount 
Jackson and the Great Eastern quicksilver mines are located. A wagon-road 
is proposed, and will be built from Guerneville to the coast, which will turn a 
large portion of the coast-travel via Guerneville to San Francisco. It is said 
that the narrow-gauge road will be extended from Moscow, its terminus on 
Russian river, to Guerneville. 


General Vallejo says he was ordered by his government to extend the settle- 
ments of the frontier colony on the northwest, in the direction of the Russians, 
in 1835, and he invited the settlement of James Mcintosh, Jatnes Dawson and 
James Black, — three James'. They settled on land afterwards granted to 
Black, called the Canada de Jonive, near the town of Freestone. They were the 
very first settlers, except the Russians, in all the Bodega country. They formed 
a partnership to build a saw-mill on Salmon creek. Black got from the Mex- 
ican government a grant of the Jonive ranch for this purpose. Mcintosh and 
Dawson agreed to make application jointly to the Mexican government, for 
the grant known as the Estero Americano. Dawson furnished the money for 
Mcintosh to go to Monterey to get the necessary papers. He accomplished 


98 HTSTORY OF «!oyo:\r.\. couxty, cal. 

hU piirpofse, and returned to Bodega from the capitol. Dawson, on examining 
the papers, found that they were made out in the name of Mcintosh, and that 
he wafl left out in the cold. Well authenticated tradition sayR that when 
Dawson made this discovery, he first gave his partner a thrashing:, and then 
with a cross-cut saw he sawed the house, in which they had been living, in two 
parts, and removed his half to the place where F. G. Blume's house now stands, 
in Freestone. In fact, we have been told that a portion of this, the only orig- 
inal severed house on record, stands to this day. Dawson afterwards applied 
for, and received the Canada de Pogolirai grant, and his widow, who afterwards 
married F. G. Blume, of Freestone, received a patent for the same. 

The mill on the Jonive was completed, and run until 1849, by Mcintosh, 
James Black, Thomas Butters, William Leighton, Thomas Wood, and a pioneer, 
who went by the euphonious soubriquet of "Blinking Tom." That year they 
Bold all the lumber they had to F. G. Blume, and left for the gold mines. 

In 1849 Jasper O'Farrell bought the Estero Americano ranch, of two leagues, 
one thousand five hundred head of cittle, and one hundred and fifty head of 
horses, in consideration of a promise to pay Mcintosh an annuity of eight hun- 
dred dollars, or, should he elect in lieu of the annuity, the sum of five thousand 
dollars in cash. The latter sum was afterwards paid by Mr. O'Farrell, who 
acquired title to the property. Mr. Blume and his wife still reside within the 
limits of the town of Freestone, and are the oldest settlers. The Hon. Jasper 
O'Farrell exchanged a ranch, which he owned in Marin, with Black for the 
Jonive, on part of which Freestone stands. He resided there until his death, 
which occurred a few years ago. 

Freestone is on the line of the narrow-gatige road just now completed, and 
has a very flattering prospect for the future. It is rapidly improving; and 
houses are in demand. It is within a few hours' travel of San Francisco, and 
trains pass the place every morning for that city, returning every afternoon. 
F. G. Blume is postmaster. There is one store, a blacksmith shop, two hotels, 
a livery stable, and a number of residences. And so the wheel of time has 
brought it round that in less than forty years after the settlement of the 
pioneers, Black, Dawson, and Mcintosh, on the frontier of Bodega, to check- 
mate the Russians, the shrill whistle of the locomotive is echoed by the hills 
back of Ross as the trains speed by ; but three hours from a city of three hun- 
dred thousand inhabitants — and the then defenceless colony, a dependent of a 
distracted government, has now become a great and powerful State in the Ameri- 
can Union. Such a change would have seemed to the pioneer wilder and more 
improbable than the enchantment wrought by the Genii of Aladin's wonderful 


This place is situated on Russian river, opposite the terminus of the coast 
narrow-gauge road at Duncan's mills. One of the principal mills of the Rus- 
sian River Land and Lumber Company is located here. Just below here the 
railroad crosses the river, on a splendid Howe truss bridge, to Duncan's mill. 
It will doubtless grow to be a place of importance. 



This place is on the narrow-gauge road where it croases the divide, between 
the waters flowing into O'Farrell valley on the south side, and through Howard 
canon into Eussian river on the north side. The station is called Howard's 
station, after William Howard, who settled there in 1849, and is still a resident 
of the place. The town-site belongs partly to Mr. Howard and partly to the 
Meeker Bros. It is a place of recent growth, but already boasts of a post, 
express, and telegraph ofiBce, a good hotel, general store, blacksmith shop, 
church, &c. Unlike most towns in Sonoma, it is surrounded by forests, and 
the stump of a tree stands in the main street, out of which one hundred and 
twenty thousand shingles were made. The Rev. M. George has charge of the 
church. The first store was started by McCaughey & Co., on the 4th of April, 
1877. .J. W. Noble opened a hotel in January, 1877, which is called the 
Summit House. The population of the place is about fifty souls, 


This village is situated on the south bank of Russian river, one and one-half 
miles from the sea. The mill was built in 1860 by S. M. & A. Duncan; it 
has been in successful operation for the past sixteen years; during that time a 
thriving village has grown up around it. In the town there is a hotel, a post 
and express office, store, and telegraph office, and a population of about one 
hundred. S. M. Duncan and his former partner, Hendy, were members of the 
first company organized to cut timber in Sonoma county. The company was 
formed of mechanics at work on the Benicia barracks, in 1849. Charles Mc- 
Dermott was president, and John Bailiff, secretary. The price of timber was 
then three hundred dollars a thousand. The company organized under the 
name of the Blumedale Lumber Company, in honor of F. G. Blume, on whose 
land, near the present town of Freestone, they built a mill. The price of lum- 
ber tumbled by the time the company got at work, and it soon after went into 
liquidation. Its effects were purchased, and it was revised under the firm name 
of Hendy & Duncan. General George Stoneman was a partner in the firm. 
They did not make it go, and the machinery was taken to the mines, where it 
was run awhile, and was brought back to the county in 1852 by Hendy & Dun- 
can, who built at Salt Point the first steam saw-mill on the coast. From Salt 
Point the mill was removed to Russian river by S. M. & A. Duncan, and 
took the name of Duncan's mill. The boiler purchased by the Blumedale 
Company in 1849 is still used by A. Duncan, the successor of Hendy & Duncan, 
and S. M. & A. Duncan. 

At this time, 1877, a joint .stock company, known as the Duncan's Mill Land 
and Lumber Company, has been inaugurated, and the mill was moved to its 
present location, on the north side of Russian river, at a point where the North 
Pacific Railroad crosses the river, the present terminus of the road. It will 
retain its original name of Duncan's mill. 


We have elsewhere given a sketch of the early history of this place, the first 
settled by Europeans, north of San Francisco. Bodega bay was occupied by the 


Russians in 1812; the stockade at Ross wa« hnilt shortly after, witli the double 
purpo-e of repelling the attacks of Indians or of the Californians, should eitlier 
attempt to dispossess the fur hunters. It was admirably chosen for the purpose 
of defense. The Russians might have defied all the forces that could possibly 
have been brought against them, and did hold possession of the country around 
Ross until they were ready to leave, in 1840. The place is now owned by an 
enterprising citizen, Mr. G. W. Call, who uses it as a farm and dairy ranch. 

There is an excellent shipping point at Ross, from which farm products, 
wood, posts, lumber, and tan-bark, are shipped by coasters directly to the city. 


This is the next shipping point north of Ross. It was first used as such in 
1856. It consists of a hotel, store, post, and express office, and several dwel- 
lings. W. R. Miller formerly had a saw-mill here, and an immense amount 
of lumber, posts, ties, cord-wood, and tan-bark have been shipped from this 



is a shipping place, four miles north of Timber Cove. It was first settled, as 
we have elsewhere stated, by Hendy & Duncan, and was once a place of con- 
siderable business importance. The chutes, and a large tract of land around 
it, are owned by a San Francisco firm. 


id situated three miles north of Salt Point. It was first occupied and used 
as a shipping point by J. C. Fisk, from whom the post-office takes its name. 
The place is now owned by F. M. Plelmke, who has a beautiful home there by 
the sea. Mr. Helmke keeps the place in excellent order. His mill, which 
formerly stood here, has been moved higher up the coast. From this point a 
large amount of cord-wood, tan-bark, etc., is shipped. There is a post and 
express office at this place. 


is situated twenty-eight miles north of Russian river, and twelve miles south 
of Valhalla river. It was first settled in 1858, and contains a hotel, store and 
saloon, all owned by J. C. Fisk, who also has the shutes for shipping cord- 
wood, lumber, tan-bark, post, fencing and railroad ties. There is annually 
shipped from this point one thousand cords of tan-bark, five hundred cords of 
oak wood, sixty thousand posts, and eight million feet of lumber. The tan- 
bark is worth ten dollars per cord at the chute, wood six dollars per cord, 
posts six dollars per hundred, and lumber sixteen dollars per thousand. Pop- 
ulation of the place about one hundred. 


This thriving. village derives its name from the port of Bodega, near which 
it is situated, and the port from its discoverer, Juan Francisco de la Rodega. 
Bodega is on a portion of the tract farmed by the Russians, and had a number 


of excellent houses upon it, built by them. After the departure of the Rus- 
sians the land was granted to Captain Stephen Smith, who was the first Amer 
ican settler in that part of the county. Captain Smith owned a small vessel 
called the Fayaway, which he run between the Port of Bodega and San Fran- 
cisco ; in '49, fare was the moderate sum of fourteen dollars from Bodega to 
San Francisco, on the Fayaway. 

The town of Bodega, near the Smith homestead, took its start in 1853. A 
man named Robinson started a saloon ; Hughes, a blacksmith shop. Hughes 
and a man named Bowman built the first hotel, which was afterwards burned. 
Donald McDonald and Rositer Bros, were the first merchants in the town of 
Bodega. The oldest settlers in the neighborhood were James Watson, ex- 
Sheriff Potter, Mr. Higler and J. L. Springer. The town is now quite a 
prosperous place. It is situated in the center of a rich dairy country. It has 
three churches and a school-house built at a cost of five thousand dollars. 
There are one hundred and twenty-five children in the district, and two teach- 
ers are employed. There is also in the town a Masonic, Odd Fellows and 
Good Templars' Lodge. There are three stores, one shoemaker, one black- 
smith and wagon shop, one hotel and two private boarding-houses, one livery 
stable, two physicians, and one butcher-shop. J. L. Springer is justice of the 
peace and postmaster. The population of the town is about two hundred and 


This post-office takes its name from two rather peculiar rocks, which were 
called bv the Californians Dos Piedros. These rocks stood on a point where the 
Blucher and Balsa de Tomales ranchos cornered. They were also a landmark 
on the northwestern boundary of the Laguna de San Antonio, or Bojorques 
ranch. The old Mexican trail, from San Rafael to Bodega and Ross, passed 
between these two rocks, which were referred to, far and near, in speaking of 
that section. The first settlers, in the neighborhood of Two Rocks, were Samuel 
Tustin, J. R. Lewis, Charles Purvine, S. M. Martin, James and E. Denman. 
The post-office is at the junction of the Bloomfield and Tomales roads, about 
a mile and a-half from the two rocks from which it takes its name. 

The farm where the post-office is located was first settled by John Schwo- 
beda. He sold it to Charles Weigand, who now owns it and is postmaster. 
There is at the cross-roads, a Grange hall, a Presbyterian church and a black- 
smith-shop. Two Rock is eight miles from Petaluma. It is surrounded by a 
rich and fertile country. Of the farms thereabouts that of S. M. Martin, con- 
taining three hundred and twenty acres, is one of the very best. 


The town of Valley Ford is situated on the Estero Americano, four miles 
from its mouth. 

Here the old Spanish and Indian trail leading from the interior ranchos to 
Tomales bay and the coast, crossed the Estero, hence the name which was 
given to the farm adjoining, and subsequently to the town. At this point the 


trail forked, and the one which led up the valley was the route traveled from 
Botiff^a rancho to Saucelito. 

It was the custom among the Indians in the back country to take two or 
tliree journeys each year to the coast for the purpose of feasting on shell-fish, 
and gathering shells for the manufacture of Indian money. Tomales bay and 
the coast to tlie east of the P^slero, was the most frequented sea-side resort of 
the Indians. The trail which crossed the Kstero where Valley Ford stands, 
was on the main route. After 1857 they ceased their annual pilgrimages. 
Often previous to that time their bands might be seen tiling along the way, 
embracing alj sorts and conditions of Digger Indian life, from " El Capi'.an," 
who usually rode a lean, half-tamed mustang, to the old crones with hugh 
baskets hung to their backs by a band across their foreheads, loaded with a 
promiscuous assortment of rags, old blankets, attole, pinole, papooses, cookicg 
utensils, etc. The fording of the Estero was their usual halting place. 

S. L. Fowler and J, E. P'owler arrived in San Francisco in May, 1849. After 
many hardships, chance brought them to Big valley, better known as the valley 
of the Estero Americano, then an unfenced wilderness. Not a furrow had 
been plowed, and a wealth of grass clothed the hills. They settled where the 
trail crossed the Estero, and purchased of F. G. Blume six hundred and forty 
acres of land lying between the Ebabias creek and the Estero. In July follow- 
ing they built a house two hundred yards from the ford. 

Thomas Smith, who had been engaged running a saw-mill with Messrs. 
Hendy & Duncan, near where John Vanderleith now lives, built a cabin on 
the point between Ebabias creek and the Estero, which tract they had pur- 
chased of F. G. Blume, and, with his partner, R. Gahen, prepared to put in a 
crop of potatoes. 

Sanford & Stone located across the creek on the place now owned by Roach 
& Webber. They received a portable grist-mill from the, and in the winter 
of 1852 and 1853 they ground the grain raised in the neighborhood. The mill 
was small and the flour coarse and unbolted, but they were kept busy by the 
settlers, who waited their turn at the mill. 

Whitehead Fowler came to the country in 1852. The same year E. Thurber 
settled upon the tract east of town, now owned by A. P. Garver. These were 
the first settlers at Valley Ford and the adjoining ranchesi. 

In May, 1854, Stephen C Fowler and his wife, the parents of S. L., James 
E., and W. Fowler, with their three sons, John H., Benjamin, and Nathaniel, 
arrived at Valley Ford. Mrs. Fowler was the first female resident of the town, 
and both she and her husband have resided continuously in the latter place 
from that day to this, having now attained the ripe age of eighty years — re- 
cently celebrating the fifty-fifth anniversary of their marriage in their resi- 
dence on the Estero. 

What had been formerly but an Indian trail had now become a well trav- 
eled road. Several other persons took up claims, among them were some hav- 
ing families, but by far the greater nuruber " bached it." A crop of t)ats yield- 
ing one hundred bushels to the acre was raised in the summer of 1854 upon what 
is now the town site. 


In 1856 Thomas Smith run his grist-mill with twelve horses and two runs of 
stone. Two years later a steam engine took the place of horses, and the mill 
Foon became famous for the excellent quality of flour made there. 

In the fall of 1861 Daniel Hall opened a blacksmith shop. In the spring 
of 1861 John 11. Fowler opened a general merchandise business. A bridge 
was built across -the creek about the same time. James E. Fowler opened a 
lumber-yard, and E. B. & J. W. Palmer built a carpenter shop. In 1863 the 
Methodist church was built. J. N. Rien built the Valley Ford hotel in 1864. 
An express and post-office was established. There is a lodge of Good Temp- 
lars and a Templar hall. A Methodist society, and a Presbyterian society, 
with a Sunday-school. A district-school is kept in the village. 

In the summer of 1876 the North Pacific Coast Railroad Company extended 
their road through the town, and built a neat depot. The people can now 
reach San Francisco in about four hours' time. Previous to the building of 
this road the people received their goods and hauled their produce to and from 
Petaluma, a distance of eighteen miles, and traveled the same route to San 
Francisco ; hence they welcomed the railroad which brought an end to those 
tedious journeys. 

In 1876 P. E. Merritt opened a new grocery store in the place. J. Parry 
opened a tin shop, and John Hunter opened a meat market. With her rail- 
road facilities, fine climate, and rich and productive surrounding country, why 
should not Valley Ford continue to grow and prosper ? 


This town is situated at the head of Big valley, or the valley of the Estero 
Americano. It was first settled by Judge Cockrill and Bill Zilhardt. A man 
named Lamb started the first store. Among the earliest settlers in the neigh- 
borhood were W. P. Hinshaw, W. H. White, L. D. Cockrill, Henry Hall, John 
Linebaugh, Alonzo Walker, the late John Peters, Hugh Stockton, Wm. Jones, 
Hon. E. C. Hinshaw, and O. P. Hoag. There is a post, express and telegraph 
office in the town ; two stores, one hotel, three churches, (Presbyterian, Metho- 
dist, and Advent), one Masonic hall, and a lodge of Odd Fellows ; one harness 
and three blacksmith shops, one cooper shop, and a flouring mill. The popu- 
lation is about two hundred and fifty. There is an excellent public school 
with over a hundred scholars. The place is surrounded by as rich a farming 
and dairy country as there is in the State of California. 


This was formerly a post-office on the road from Macedonia church to Bloom- 
field. The Stony Point House was on the farm of P, N. Woodworth, who 
settled there as early as 1851. There is nothing there now, the hotel having 
been discontinued. The post-office has been moved to the Washoe House, 
about two miles oQ', but is still called Stony Point. At the Washoe House, 
(which is on one of the roads from Bloomfield to Petaluma), also on the west 
road from Petaluma to Santa Rosa, there is a hotel, blacksmith shop, butcher 
shop, and farm-implement manufactory and sale depot. 



It is the proud boast of the residents of Sonoma that they have tlie finest 
county in the State. To prove that claim, they point to the fact that they have 
never had a faihire of crops ; to their climate ; to the superiority of their vine- 
yards, producing annually two and a half million gallons of wine ; their table 
g:apes, stone and seed fruit, vegetables, potatoes, corn, cereals, and blooded live- 
stock ; their lumber, their mines, their railroads which bear these varied products 
of the soil to a ready market; to their bay and seacoast front, which renders a 
monopoly to transportion impossible; their schools, and churches, and thriv- 
ing towns; their mineral springs, their unrivaled scenery, their redwood 
forests, their fertile valleys and lofty hills. 

We have outlined the county of Sonoma from the Valhalla to the Huichica, 
and from the Estero Americano to its northeast corner in the Mayacmas range, 
and reluctantly bid the reader good-bye. 




srmiTur'EPGs "If* 


Cheap and Desirable! 


water-pipes on every street. A street railroad connecting 
with the San Francisco cars extends through the entire tract. The 
streets are graded, with wide sidewalks, curbed, and ornamented 
with growing shade-trees. 

Santa Rosa is the capital of the finest agricultural county in the 
State. It has steadily improved for years and is now ranked as the 
most prosperous interior town in California. Within a few months 
there will be direct railway communication with San Francisco, and 
the journey may be accomplished in two hours. This is the best 
opening in the State for an investment in town property, besides 
affording unsurpassed attractions to those seeking suburban homes. 

For further particulars as to the location and price of lots and 
buildings, apply to 


Santa Rosa. 513 California St., S. F, 







The Weekly Democrat is a t^Arelve page paper de- 
voted to Agriculture, Literature and Politics. County 
Official Press, and one of the very best Advertising 
Mediums on the Pacific coast. 

PRICE $3.00 A YEAR ; DAILY, $6.00. 

Svery description of Commercial and Legal Job Printing 
executed in the very best style* 

THOMAS L. THOMPSON, Proprietor. 

The Oldest, Largest, and Best! 




— TO~ 

j^isTiz: :p.A.i?,a? oif the ttzstiteid st.>^tes. 

The Largest Paper published in the Third Congressional District. 
Just the Paper for the Family, the Farm and the Home Circle. 
Reliable Markets, All Local News, Careful Editorials, Choice 
Miscellaneous Reading. 

Ask the Patrons of the "Argus" What they Think of it. 

Send the Argus to the "Old Folks at Home." It will prove 
almost as acceptable as a letter, and is certain to make its regular 
weekly connection. Only ^3, postage paid. 

For Subscription, Advertising, or Job Work, address 

WESTON, SCUDDER & CO., Petaluma, Cal. 




W. r. SHATTUCK, _^ - - Publisher. 


The Courier is a Family Paper devoted to the Interests of Peta- 
luma in particular, and Sonoma County in general. 

Connected with this Establishment is a first-class 

Job Printing 0£B.ce, 

In which every description of 

Will be executed with neatness and despatch, 
And at San Francisco prices. 


LESLIE A. JORDAN, Proprietor. 



The Advertising Rates are LoTirer, 


Than those of any other newspaper published in the Third 

Congressional District. 

No Objectionable Advertisements inserted on any terms. 

of every description, executed Promptly, Neatly and at the Lowest 

Living Prices. 

■emliiiirg ImterprI 



The Enterprise is the representative paper of North- 
ern Sonoma — a section rich in agriculture, horticuhure, 
stock-range, mineral and other resources. 

Its full and reliable reports entitle the paper to the 
consideration of persons wishing information about this 
section of the State. 

Annual Subscription, - - ^3.00, 







i:isrooK.:eoi^^TEiD iisr i87o. 

Capital paid up, - $100,000 
Surplus paid up, - 16,000 

H. T. FAIRBANKS, Pres. WM. B. HASKELL, Cashier. 

J. M. Bowles, B. F. Tuttle, 

B. Haskell, S. D. Towne, 

H. T. Fairbanks, J. H. Crane, 

F. T. Maynard, a. p. Whitney. 

John Moffet. 

Notes bought and sold, and a General Banking Business 

Interest allowed on Deposits and Trust Funds. 

Bonds, Stocks, Papers, Jewelry, Silverware, Tin Trunks, etc., 
kept in our large burglar and fire-proof vault and safe, at risk of 


Merclianls' Exchange Sank, - San j^ra?ictsco. 
ICo?intZ€ Sros . , ----- JVew Tor A', 





CAPITAL STOCK, - $100,000. 

A. P. OVERTON, - - President. 

F. G. HAHMAN, - Cashier. 




I\)7'eign and ^omeslic Exchange, County Sonds, 
y^a7Ta?its and Scrip, Zegat Te?iders, and 
ail other kinds of Securities bought 
and sold, a?id a 

General Banking Business Transacted. 


Sau Francisco Correspoudeut — Anglo California Bank. 


CAPITAL, Paid up, Gold Coin, ■ $300,000 
SURPLUS, 60,000 


X T. FARMER, - President. 

a G. AMES, - - Cashier. 



Buys and Sells Exchange. 

Legal Tenders Bought and Sold. 

Collections made and Prompt Returns. 

County Orders, Bonds and other Securities 

And a General Banhing Business trans- 

West Side of tlie Plaza, 


Authorized Capital. i^riOO.OOO Gold. Paid in faitital, $200,000 Gold. 






First Nat'l Gold Bank, San Francisco. I Natl Hank of Commerce, New York. 
National Gold Bank il- Trust Co., " | McCulloch & Co., London. 

I. G. WICKERSHAM, President. H. H. ATWATER, Cashier. 


THE HEW /H^^^^T^^"'"™ 

mm, \7\y \j \ / best imn. 

Manufacture and keep constantly on hand Ciirriajjes, Oppn hikI Top Bng:- 
eifN; the Celebrated Dexter Spring Road Wagons and Buggies; Spring aud 
Lumber Wagons of all sizes. 

4®=-All kinds of Repairing promptly attended to. All work guaranteed to 
give satisfaction. Agents for the SCHUTTLER WAGON. 

Fashion Livery Stable, 

Corner of Main and 2d Streets, 


J. P. CLARK, . - - - Proprietor. 

Buggies, Carriages and Saddle-Horses promptly furnished, 


Persons visiting the Geysers and the various localities of interest 
in this vicinity, will find it to their advantage to give me a call. 

For the accommodation of the public, 1 will run a Stage from 
Santa Rosa to Mark West Springs. 

Particular attention paid to transient stock, and horses boarded 
by the day or week at the lowest rates. 

Having a large number of stalls and sheds, and very large corral, 
am consequently prepared to accommodate an unlimited number of 
customers on public days. 

||0ifi Mcmo minf 


The Most Direct Route to all Points on the North Coast. 

Tike Great Meiwoois smi Tie Mmssiaiii Miver. 

stage connections made Daily (except Sunday), at Duncan 

Mills with the finely equipped four-horse stages 

of the North Coast Stage Liue. 

Through from San Francisco to Point Arena 

lit Olt^ l^A^l 




A lI^t^TiiTQIi aIt Q nf ^^'^ ^°*^ ^^^^ Route the best for all points on the 
^KE^lYlerdlaUWS North Coast— making the quickest Railroad and 
Stage time and Lowest Fare. 

ws-Sportsmen and Camping Parties r^L'S m: 

ities; game being plenty, and the Great Redwood Forests affording Camping 
advantages unsurpassed in this State. 

ilft''Ci:=>T?iell11'ifT '° ^^^ waters of the Lagunitas, along the shores and in 
»v.2Sr^ii Iwiiiil^ the Bay of Tomales, and in the well stocked Austin 
Creek, Russian River and Coast streams 

^^S==fcTftn T1 d <! '^° Tourists, a trip along the line of this road presents 
1S^K&'^4 OUf IwWMi the greatest of attractions. For picturesque scenery 
and as an example of engineering skill, it compels the wonder and admiration 
of all. 

TIPKfT flfFirf ^*" Quentin and San Rafael Ferry, 
I lU^L I UrnUL) Market Street Wharf. 



San Francisco and North Pacific 



Fulton and Guerneville Railroad Co. 

Leave San Francisco twice every day, morning and afternoon, for 
all points in Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake Counties, connecting 
at Cloverdale for the GEYSERS. 


Through by Daylijfht, without layiug- over. 

Via Cloverdale and San Francisco, and ioilh Pacific R. R, 

Fare only $7.75. Round Trip, $13.00. 




Enjoyment, Recreation and Pleasure. — Trees 300 feet high; 
Shady, Cool and Pleasant; Every facility for Picnics; Good Hunt- 
ing and Fishing. All aboard for the Redwoods ! 

Ticket Office, Market Street Wharf. 

General Office, 426 Montgomery Street. 


Gen. Manager. Superintendent. Gen. Pass. & Ticket Agent. 


OiF :PET.A.i_.Tjnyn^. 

Incorporated July 19, 1870. 

Number of Members Limited to 2,000 

Present Membership .....1,209 

Assets July 1st, 1877 $35,045 35 

Benefits Paid up to July 1st, 1877 $56,381.00 

Dividend Paid July .1st, 1877 $2,770.00 

Dividend to each. Member $5 00 $6.00 and $7.00 



L. F. CARPENTER President. 

E. NEWBUHGH Vice-President. 

G. R. CODDINU Secretary. 

JOHN S. Van UOREN Treasurer, 

L. F. Carpenter, George Harris, Jolin Cavanagh, W. P. Rutherford, 

F. W. Shattuck, E. S. Lippitt, E, Newburgh, William Camm, 

G. R, Codding, A..H. Dreese, D. W. O. Putnam, H. A. Liynch. 


Tlie objectof the Association Is to secure pecuniary aid (of S2,000) to the families 
or dependents of deceased members. This we accomplish in the most perfect and 
substantial manner, as has been proven in the past few years, and that, too, with 
an expense so light, that it has proved not to be a burden to its members, which 
not only increases its popularity, but brings it within the reach of those most 
needing its benefit and aid. 

Any person, male or female, may become a member, if in good health and 
over eigliteen and under lifty years of age. 

Eacli member pays, according to age, four to ten dollars annually, and one 
dollar on the death of any member. 

On proof of the death of a member, his family, or the person he has appointed, 
receives immediately from the Association S2UUU, or a like proportion to the num- 
ber of the members if not filled. 

All surplus shall be loaned, on good and sufficient security (real estate), to 
form a "permanent reserve fund," the interest on which annually reverts to 
members in the form of dividends. 

In case of death, we send a notice to each member. We shall have agents in 
each town, to receive the assessments and save members the trouble of sending 
direct to the Secretary. 

The Association, as well as its funds, is under the control of a Board of twelve 
Directors, who are elected annually by the members of the Association, and is 
also incorporated under the Beneticiary Act of the State, which Act uoes not 
allow any funds used for purposes other than set forth in the Rules and Regu- 
lations, while the Secret«ry and Treasurer are required to give heavy bonds for 
the faithful performance of their duties. 

The officers and directors of the Association receive no compensation what 
ever for their services, except the Secretary, who is simply paid for keeping the 
books of the Association. 

All members will be allowed the same interest on money standing to their 
credit that the fuuds of the Association draw, and can deposit such amounts as 
they may desire as advance payments, or as an endowment fund for future years, 
without risk or forfeiture, whether one or more deposit. 

The Association is designed to save money, not to spend it. None will feel 
poorer for belonging to it, while many bless the day their father, mother, husband 
or brother joined it. 

Uo not confound us with life insurance. We are a "Protective Association." 
We do business in a different way— in part for the same purpose, but for one- 
third the expense to members, who receive all the benefit. 

Further particulars of the Association can be obtained from the Secretary in 
person, or by letter. Office in Derby's Building, corner Main and Washington 
streets, Petaluma. 

G. R. CODDING, Secretary. 

Cannot be made better, or bought cheaper, than are sold by 


Wholesale and Retail Dealers in all kinds of Barness a&d Saddlery foods. 

Buying our goods direct from manufactories in the East has en- 
abled us to successfully compete with all others. 

We keep a complete assortment of Hill's Concord Harness, 
also do all kinds of Carriage Trimming. We invite at all times a 
careful examination of our stock. 


Washington St., Petaluma. 

<@°' Awarded First Premium by Sonoma and Marin District Agri- 
cultural Society 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, ^874, 
1875, 1876. 


CHARLES EVANS, Proprietor. 






It can be reached by Stage on arrival of trains at Santa Rosa, Fulton 

or Calistoga. 


For full description, see "PETRIFIED FOREST," in descriptive 

matter of Sonoma Co. 

THESE CELEBRATED SPRINGS are on the line of the San 
Francisco and North Pacific Railroad. Trains connect at Geyser- 
ville with stages for Skaggs' Springs every day. 

Elegant Baths of Hot Sulphur Water of Delicious Temperature. 

Comfortable Cottages, Pleasant Walks, and Fine Drives. Health, 
Pleasure and Recreation can all be had at Skagg's Springs. 

Prices Lower than at any other First-class Watering place 

in California, 



Real Estate Agent, 

McCune's Block, 


Property Advertised and Sold on Commission. 


Rents Collected, Loans Negotiated, and a General Real Estate and 
Commission Business Transacted. 

For Information in relation to SONOMA COUNTY FARMS or 


McCiine's Block, Petaluma. 




Mark West Springs and Petrified 



J. P, CLARK, Proprietor. 



Buys and Sells Real Estate on Commission. Articles of 
Agreement and Legal Contracts drawn. Loans negotiated. Farms 
and Town Lots, improved and unimproved, for sale in all parts of 
the county. 

New-comers, buyers and sellers, are respectfully invited to call at 
my office. Every facility afforded purchasers to see property. 



NEECE & POOLER, - - Proprietors. 




This Hotel is at Santa Rosa, in the midst of one of 
the most lovely and charming Valleys in the world. 
The climate is remarkable for its uniform temperature, 
its salubrity, and immunity from drouth, as over eighteen 
inches of rain have fallen in this Valley during the 
season beginning with October, 1876, and ending with 
March, 1877. 

This Hotel will be conducted as a first-class house in 
all respects, and its tables supplied with the choicest 
meats and viands. 


ROOMS, 50 Cents to $1.00 per diem. 











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